NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 – The decision whether to pay Sh1.4 billion to two Anglo Leasing firms rests with the National Assembly.
This is after High Court Judge David Majanja refused to issue orders sought by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to block the payments, saying it would restrain the Legislature from exercising its constitutional mandate on revenue matters.
“I propose to make great restraint in this matter since Treasury and the Attorney General are yet to respond fully to the matter to give the court a full picture on the disputed issues,” the judge ruled.
“Issuing conservatory orders at this stage would inhibit the Legislature from discharging its constitutional mandate on revenue issues,” he added.
The judge has set May 26 as the date for a full hearing, saying LSK has an arguable case as it raises important issues of law.
LSK had urged the court to stop the intended payment claiming there seems to be some urgency by the Executive to pay the money which will be injurious to the public.
Deputy Solicitor General Muthoni Kimani had urged the court not to grant the orders sought arguing that LSK had not demonstrated any corruption allegations.
“The respondents will agree to the orders sought if there was evidence by the LSK. But as matters are, the allegations are just innuendos based on misinformation being fuelled for a particular agenda,” argued Muthoni.
She told the court that the government has the interest of the public at heart, and explained it is the reason why the Executive decided to involve Parliament in the matter.
“The court should respect the doctrine of separation of powers because this is a matter under the realm of the Executive and the Legislature and only when two arms of government have made a decision, that a party can come to court to challenge it,” she said.
LSK through lawyer James Mwamu had urged the court to stop the payments arguing that the government intends to pay non-existing companies in the names of Universal Sat Space and First Mercantile Securities.
The lawyers’ body wanted the High court to restrain the government from paying any monies related to the 18 Anglo-leasing type contracts as a result of a consent judgment entered in the Civil Section of the Tribunal of First Instance of Geneva.
At the same time LSK wants the court to direct chief government legal advisor to deposit with the Court the consent signed to pay the amounts, evidence of any payments’ made so far to First Mercantile Securities Corporation and any Cabinet approvals within seven days.