Jailed TNA politician files for bankruptcy
By ABIUD OCHIENG
A TNA politician in jail for failing to pay debts has filed for bankruptcy and wants to be released pending the hearing of his insolvency application.
Jackson Mutugi Mwangi, who lost both Starehe and Mathare parliamentary seats despite investing millions in campaigns, also wants the High Court to stop all cases filed against him by his creditors pending the conclusion of the bankruptcy proceedings.
Mr Mwangi is in trouble for failing to pay Sh9 million borrowed from friends to boost his campaign in the quest to be a Nairobi MP. Mr Mwangi was committed to civil jail in October for failing to pay the debt.
His troubles deepened after the magistrate’s court extended his civil jail term until the loans are settled.
The politician claims a meeting with one of his creditors set for December 21, 2015 failed to happen because he was in jail.
“Given that the High Court had already issued a receiving order, all matters related to debt against Mr Mwangi should be dealt with in the bankruptcy case,” said Mr Mwangi’s lawyer.
The lawyer added that it is only fair and just that the debtor be released from civil jail so as to attend the various creditors meetings to enable him come up with a proposal on how he will pay off his debts.
In 2013, Mr Mwangi, then a businessman, ventured into politics and put all his money into campaigns.
He contested for the Starehe Constituency seat and lost to Maina Kamanda. Last year, he vied for the Mathare Constituency seat through a by-election and was once again defeated by Steven Kariuki.
He partly relied on loans from friends to oil his campaign.
He borrowed a friendly loan of Sh2 million from Samuel Ndung’u Grace who filed a case for non-payment and obtained a warrant of arrest against Mr Mwangi.
The TNA politician also borrowed a soft loan of Sh2.8 million from Boniface Biringi Rufus to boost his campaign and Sh4.3 million from Vincent Sammy Ndirangu Wambui. He has been unable to settle the debts.
Mr Mwangi also hired a car from Margaret Sila for seven months and also failed to pay the dues. Ms Sila sued the politician and was awarded Sh1.1 million.
Mr Mwangi reckons that his bankruptcy application is supported by the rent arrears he owes his landlord. The case will be heard on January 21.
Bankruptcy in Kenya has ripple legal effects on the life of the affected. For starters, he cannot hold a political office, sign a binding contract and his estate is managed by a court-appointed official.