Veteran politician Kenneth Matiba
Kenneth Matiba, a veteran politician and former multi-party crusader has been awarded Sh504 million by a Kenyan court for torture he endured while in detention in 1991.
Matiba was jailed by the Moi regime along with Charles Rubia in the height of the fight for multi-party democracy in 1991.
Supreme Court judge Isaac Lenaola handed the amount to Matiba for the torture he endured, as well as in compensation for his business losses.
Judge Lenaola, who took the case while still at the High Court, said Matiba suffered a serious stroke on May 26, 1991 while in detention but remained untreated for a whole week. As a result of the stroke, the judge said that Matiba lost his business acumen and energy upon his release from detention leading to the collapse of most of his businesses.
“Real justice can be expensive and nothing in compensation can return Kenneth Stanley Jindo Matiba to the sprightly and fit man that he was before his detention,” Justice Lenaola said in his rulling.
“[His incarceration and torture] so greatly affected the business acumen, attention, focus, energy guidance and leadership that he was giving his companies,” Lenaola said.
Judge Lenaola awarded Matiba Sh471,664,258.50 as compensation for financial losses, Sh18,146,631.52 for medical costs and Sh15 million for mistreatment by state officers while in detention.
Matiba had sued for Sh4.7 billion, which he said was the worth of his collapsed businesses.
Matiba, now 85, living in relative poverty and confined to a wheelchair, was once one of the richest Kenyans. His empire at the time comprised the Hill Crest Group of School, African and Safari Beach Hotels, and Cabarcid Limited among others. He also held shares worth hundreds of millions of shares in several companies.