Business

Ex-MP to pay DStv owner Sh153 million in row

Ex-MP to pay DStv owner Sh153 million in row
  • Former Kandara MP Maina Kamau is said to have defrauded the South African firm the money 10 years ago through his clearing and forwarding company, Mainkam Limited.
  • The amount was meant to be taxes payable to the KRA for satellite dishes and decoders imported in 2009 when Kenya was preparing for the television digital migration.
  • But Mr Kamau's logistics firm failed to remit the taxes as the two had agreed.

The Court of Appeal has allowed pay-TV operator MultiChoice Kenya to recover Sh153 million from former Kandara MP Maina Kamau.

The former MP is said to have defrauded the South African firm, which owns DStv, the money 10 years ago through his clearing and forwarding company, Mainkam Limited.

The amount was meant to be taxes payable to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for satellite dishes and decoders imported in 2009 when Kenya was preparing for the television digital migration. But Mr Kamau's logistics firm failed to remit the taxes as the two had agreed.

MultiChoice moved to court in 2012 and on September 24, 2019 Justice William Tuiyot issued an order compelling Mainkam to refund the amount together with interest.

The pay-TV firm lost the money as a result of the non-remittance, that was unearthed by a KRA audit on its financial books.

APPEAL

But Mainkam was aggrieved by the ruling and it filed an appeal as well as an application to stop execution of the judgment.

In an affidavit, Mr Kamau said pursuant to the High Court's decree the international firm would begin the process of execution, which would render the intended appeal nugatory as the decretal sum is a colossal amount.

He contended that the appeal is arguable, raises substantial points of law and facts and that he stands to suffer irredeemable loss and damage.

But the court ruled that Multichoice Ltd, “being a well-known international company of good repute”, would be in a position to refund the money should Mainkam's appeal succeed.

"It is plainly obvious to us that the respondent (Multichoice) has been deprived of the use of their Sh153,457,809 for a considerable period through the acts of the applicants (Mr Kamau and Mainkam) thus exposing their business to incur losses," ruled the bench comprising of justices Mohammed Warsame, Gatembu Kairu and Jamila Mohammed.

The Bench described the money as “a significant amount of money which could have been put to good use to ensure the respondent continues to run effectively”.