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Mungatana ordered to pay Wetang’ula’s Sh12m soft loan

The High Court has ordered Mr Danson Mungatana to refund a Sh12 million ‘friendly loan’ taken from Senator Moses Wetang’ula.

Judge David Onyancha dismissed the defence by the Kenya Ports Authority chairman and former MP, who had argued that the Bungoma Senator’s lawyer had not raised triable issues.

“Mr Mungatana’s defence is hereby struck out and judgment entered as prayed by Mr Wetang’ula,” ruled the judge.

The facts before court were that Mr Mungatana, the then MP for Garsen, had approached Mr Wetang’ula, then the MP for Sirisia and now the Cord Minority Whip in the Senate, for a friendly personal loan in 2010 and undertook to repay the same in 14 instalments.

He then gave Mr Wetang’ula 14 cheques drawn for encashment at his (Mr Mungatana’s) bank on the dates shown on the said cheques.

BOUNCING CHEQUES

However, upon presentation of the cheques to Mr Mungatana’s bank for payment at the agreed time, the cheques were dishonoured by the bank because Mr Mungatana’s bank accounts lacked sufficient funds.

Mr Wetang’ula informed Mr Mungatana that the cheques had been dishonoured but Mr Mungatana, despite further promise to pay, failed to do so, prompting Mr Wetang’ula to seek legal redress.

In his ruling, on Wednesday, Mr Justice Onyancha noted that Mr Mungatana’s defence was riddled with confusion and it was not easy to know his stand.

“He on one hand denies receiving the amount claimed or any sum from Mr Wetang’ula. He then claims that any such amount lent to him was already fully paid back. He again claims the money lent had not reached the agreed time for repayment and the claim is premature,” the judge said.

EXORBITANT INTEREST

Mr Mungatana, he said, had also admitted receiving the money but on exorbitant interest and called the claim illegal and against public policy.

He equally admitted giving the pleaded cheques to Mr Wetang’ula not as payment but as mere security for future repayment at the leisure of his (Mr Mungatana’s) business.

“The final impression left in my mind after going through the gauze of suggested defences and after perusing Mr Mungatana’s affidavit in opposition to Mr Wetang’ula’s application, is that Mr Mungatana was advanced the money by Mr Wetang’ula,” Mr Justice Onyancha said.