Court awards veteran politician Kenneth Matiba half a billion compensation

Kenneth Matiba (left) and president Uhuru Kenyatta (right) at his South Coast home. Photo courtesy

Nairobi High Court has awarded veteran politician Kenneth Matiba Sh 504 million for his wrongful detention during president Moi’s era.

While delivering the judgment, High Court Judge Justice Chacha Mwita ruled that Matiba’s rights were violated by the state during his detention in 1991.

The judge awarded the 85 year old veteran politician Sh18, 146,631 for medical expenses, Sh15 million as damages and for violations suffered and 471,664,258 for the financial losses incurred.

The judge said that former Kiharu MP’s compensation should act as a reminder of the dark days of the Nyayo era even if it won’t help him regain his health.

In the case, Matiba argued that he lost investments worth Sh5 billion during detention since he personally managed his vast business interests, which suffered upon his arrest and detention by the Moi era.

Matiba argued that he was mistreated and tortured while in detention during the Moi era and had to sleep on the floor for long periods before he was eventually provided with a mattress.

During the hearing of the case, the court was told that Matiba suffered a stroke on May 26th 1991 but remained in detention without medication for a week.

One of the witnesses in the case the then Assistant Commissioner of the Kenya Prisons Services, Joshua Yuma had told the court that Matiba was treated just like other prisoners and detainees.

He testified that the ailing politician and the other inmates slept on the floor but were provided with bedding.

Matiba sued the state over the alleged torture and he was seeking Ksh 12 billion compensation.

Matiba was one of the youngest politicians after independence but when he began agitating for multiparty democracy with Charles Rubia, they were arrested and detained.