Court awards Matiba Sh504m for torture at the hands of state

He suffered a serious stroke on May 26, 1991, but remained in detention without medication for one week.

And for the torture he underwent at the hands of state agents, multiparty crusader and veteran politician Kenneth Matiba will now be paid Sh504 million by the state.

The compensation, the highest paid so far to a Kenyan torture victim, was awarded yesterday by Supreme Court judge Isaac Lenaola — then handling the case at the High Court.

Lenaola said Matiba had proved great violations were meted out to him by state agents before he was released from detention on June 4, 1991.

This was two days after a head scan confirmed he was bleeding in the brain and required urgent medical attention.

“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 ruled.

He agreed that Matiba’s medical condition was triggered by the events in detention, which led to his stroke.

“It so greatly affected the business acumen, attention, focus, energy guidance and leadership that he was giving his companies,” Lenaola said.

The judgment was read on his behalf by Justice Chacha Mwita.

Collapsed empire

Lenaola concurred with Matiba’s family that in his absence from the helm of his vast empire, most of his businesses deteriorated and some collapsed.

Matiba, 85, sought the entire sum of the worth of his collapsed business, totaling Sh4,726,332,042.91, but Lenaola said it is only proper that the state should bear 20 per cent of his claim.

For the torture and inhuman treatment at the hands of state agents, the judge awarded Matiba Sh15 million.

For medical costs he gave him Sh18,146,631.52 and Sh471,664,258.50 as compensation for financial loses.

His empire drastically shrank after he sold the prestigious Hill Crest Group of Schools as part of a settlement his family had made with Barclays Bank to recover a debt.

Matiba lost control of carbon dioxide manufacturer Carbacid after he sold his shares to a private firm.

He also lost Jadini, African and Safari Beach Hotels and millions of shillings worth of shares at the East African Breweries and the East African Portland Cement Company.

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