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Friday, June 1, 2012 - 00:00 -- BY SUSAN MUHINDI
Philip Moi

RETIRED president Daniel arap Moi’s son Philip was yesterday declared bankrupt. He has been fighting a court order directing him to pay Sh250,000 monthly maintenance to his estranged wife Rosanna Pluda. The 46-year old retired army major claimed he is unable to pay his debts. Yesterday he filed for a voluntary declaration of bankruptcy. The court granted his petition and issued orders for a receiver manager to take over his properties.

Philip claimed he was unable to pay his accumulated debts. Apart from the accumulated Sh7.5 million he owes his ex-wife for maintenance, he also owed his lawyers Sh800,000 in legal fees and A.B. Patel Sh5 million. Philip said that he had found it impossible to settle the debts after assessing them. “I do hereby declare that I am unable to pay my debts and for that matter I hereby petition this court that a receiving order be made in respect of my estate,” in his statement of truth.

His lawyer Gerald Sala said Philip had fulfilled the requirements of the official receiver who had given him a certificate of compliance. This included submitting copies of a comprehensive statement of his financial affairs and payment of the mandatory deposit of Sh20,000 to the official receiver. Granting the order, Justice Mutava Mbala directed that a receiving order be issued against the agents and estate of Philip Moi and that the official receiver be constituted as receiver of his estate.

Last year Justice Roselyne Nambuye ordered him to pay Sh2.7 million that he owed Pluda for outstanding child support. Aggrieved by the order, Philip opted not to pay and instead went to court to try and reduce the award. The court rejected the application as Philip failed to prove that he was unable to meet his obligations due to "financial tribulations.'

Rosanna had told the court that Philip owned a palatial home in Muthaiga, a house with a swimming pool in Nakuru on 350 acres, a building in Riverside, Nairobi and a beach house on an eight acres at Watamu. She also claimed that her ex-husband also operated several foreign bank accounts and had recently sold an oil factory on 11 acres in Nairobi's Industrial area. She said he could afford to pay her maintenance because he was still paying fees for their children at an expensive school.

Philip did not provide the court with any evidence regarding the extent of his wealth which led the court to conclude that Philip had deliberately ''withheld valuable information" which would have helped it reach its decision. A warrant of arrest was issued by Justice G.B.M. Kariuki on February 16 when Philip failed to pay Pluda as ordered. Justice Kariuki directed that Philip be held in Industrial Court prison for a month or until he paid the money.

The judge noted that Philip’s failure to remit the money was because he just decided to disobey the court order rather than not being able to afford it. On June 14 the court will rule whether Justice Kariuki's orders committing him to civil jail be set aside. Yesterday, Rosanna's lawyer Judy Thongori expressed surprise at the order. "I am very surprised that he did this. My client is not aware and needs time to seek instruction. My comments must be limited as the matter is in court. However creditors in bankruptcy proceedings still have rights in respect of their debts in the event that a receiving order is made," she said.

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