What you need to know:
- The vehicle managed by Kenya Bus Limited was impounded on December 17, 2020 after the driver was accused of flouting laws.
The High Court has ordered Harambee Sacco’s chair Macloud Mukiti Malonza to deposit Sh107,500 for his impounded public service vehicle to be returned.
The vehicle managed by Kenya Bus Limited was impounded on December 17, 2020 after the driver was accused of flouting laws.
In his ruling, Justice Weldon Korir directed Mr Malonza to deposit the cash in court as a security for costs before the matatu is returned to him.
The county government told Justice Korir that the petitioner (Mr Malonza) and the driver of his matatu have refused to record statements on the incident.
“The petitioner and his driver have declined to visit the county offices to record statements on their violation of city-by-laws and have instead resorted to evading the implementation of the due process of the law,” lawyer Titus Koceyo, for the county government, told the judge.
Mr Koceyo further said the petitioner is using the case to secure release of the matatu “to avoid paying the requisite fees and charges".
“The petitioners’ case is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process, and the courts cannot lend aid to law violators running away from the justice system,” he said.
He urged the judge to decline barring the county from asking Mr Malonza to pay for breaching the law.
Mr Koceyo says that although Mr Malonza argues the violation of his fundamental rights and loss of economic gain, he and his business agents are required to comply with county by-laws.
The judge heard that the county will release the vehicle once the Sh7,500 towing charge is paid.
The sacco boss has already paid the impound fees of Sh10,000 but “demands the county officers be compelled to explain the purpose of the Sh7,500 which is not accounted for by the county government”, his lawyer Benjamin Musyoki said.
Mr Malonza claims that when his vehicle was impounded, county officers drove it to the parking yard. He says it was not towed as alleged.
The petitioner says he and his driver “smelled corruption when the towing fee of Sh7,500 was demanded and no receipt was issued yet the county government operates a cashless system”.
He reportedly asked for the till from the two officers in order to transfer the Sh7,500 but was told the money was meant for a third party “who does not accept electronic or mobile money transfers”.
“The petitioner refused to pay the money as it was obviously a bribe or an act of corruption disguised as the respondent’s charges,” the judge heard.
Mr Malonza wants the court to order the county to pay him Sh10,000 daily as compensation forearnings from the vehicle for the period it has been impounded.
By the time the case will be heard on March 17, he will have lost earnings for 81 days, translating to a loss of Sh810,000.
Through his lawyer, the petitioner also asked the court to declare the detaining of his vehicle as “unlawful, unreasonable, under a certificate of urgency”.
Mr Malonza, who is also an officer at the directorate of personnel management at the office of the President, claims that his economic rights under Article 40(3) of Constitution have been breached and abused by Nairobi County’s acts.
He says there is no transparency and accuracy in the demand for the Sh7,500 and that this therefore amounts to contravention of Articles 10 and 232(1)(f) of the Constitution.
He asked the court to bar county officers from vandalising his vehicle while it is in their custody, pending determination of the case.