The High Court has for the second time directed Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho to appear before it before they are sentenced for contempt of court.
The summons follows the State’s failure to pay Sh5.3 million in compensation to Ms Lucy Nduta Ng’ang’a, who had sued over the death of her relative.
Justice John Mativo has directed the two senior government officials to come to court as earlier ordered.
“On July 29, the court ordered Mr Kibicho and the AG to appear before it. The order remains in force. The said persons are required to appear in court on November 2 at 8am,” Justice Mativo said.
They were to appear in court on September 20 but the judge was told that they were willing to pay the claimant.
And on September 28, when the case was mentioned, the court was told that the payment was being processed.
On Monday, lawyer Origi Owino, for Ms Ng’ang’a, told the court that the payment had not been made.
“Direct the respondents (the AG and Mr Kibicho) to appear before you in two weeks’ time for mitigation and sentencing,” Mr Owino told the court.
In August, the AG sought to have the sentencing permanently suspended until Ms Ng’ang’a is paid. He also wanted more time to settle the compensation.
Ms Ng’ang’a sued for compensation in the magistrate court in 2013 as a representative of the estate of Edward Ng’ang’a Kuria, who was unlawfully shot dead by a police officer on September 24, 2009 while driving on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway.
She told the court that police used excessive force, breached arrest procedures and acted negligently and illegally in shooting Kuria, aged 32.
She was awarded Sh5.3 million in compensation in 2016. Ms Ng’ang’a later sued in the High Court seeking to compel the respondents to pay her.
And on January 26, after Ms Ng’ang’a made another application, the High Court found Mr Kariuki and Dr Kibicho in contempt for disobeying an October 2019 court order compelling them to honour the 2016 decree.
On July 29, Ms Ng’ang’a told the court that the money had not been paid and wanted Mr Kariuki and Dr Kibicho sentenced.
But the court said the two could not be sentenced before they appeared in court for mitigation.
The AG argues that he and Dr Kibicho do not have the capacity to pay the claimant.
He also claims that Dr Kibicho is protected from personal liability for acts done in good faith in his official capacity and that Ms Nga’ng’a’s suit was a non-starter.