By Liz Ireri
Stanley Muiruri Muthama is a Kenyan politician and the current Member of Parliament for Lamu West Constituency in Lamu County. The politician burst into the limelight when news broke out that he earns a paltry Ksh28,874 out of the Sh621,250 salary MPs earn. This was attributed to his many loans as you will see elsewhere in this article.
Here is the story of Stanley Muiruri Muthama as told by WoK.
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Stanley Muthama attended Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology for a degree in Civil Engineering and graduated in 1999.
From March 1993 to December 1993, Stanley Muthama got a job at Terracraft Limited as a Deputy Site Engineer. In March, 2000 till October, 2002, he was employed at Dallas County Community College-Dallas in Texas in USA as a Senior Manager in Technology Support. Between November 2002 and December 2004, he worked at the Mugoya Building & Civil Engineering Construction Ltd as a Sub contractor. From January, 2005 to June 2007, Stanley Muiruri Muthama moved to the Rawford International Ltd as a Managing Director. Since September, 2007, he working at Stansha Ltd as a Managing Director. In 2017, Stanley Muthama joined the Kenya National Assembly after clinching the Lamu West seat.
Stanley Muiruri Muthama financial difficulties made him the butt of jokes on social media platforms. Court papers indicated that the MP’s monthly salary was a paltry Sh28,000 after deductions from loans advanced by a sacco.
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This came to light after a businesswoman accused the Lamu West MP of failing to pay a Sh10.9 million debt accrued seven years ago from a business transaction involving his trading company, Stansha Limited.
Ms Alice Cheruiyot asked the court to issue a warrant of arrest against the lawmaker who three years ago was fighting a Sh487 million tax evasion case in Eldoret.
According to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), the basic salary of a member of the National Assembly is Sh621,250, plus allowances, such as sitting (House and Committee) and travel, and mortgage.
Ms Cheruiyot, the director of Saunett Enterprises, in an application filed before the Milimani Commercial Court deputy registrar, says Mr Muthama had breached an agreement that required him to be making a monthly instalment of Sh750,000 until the debt is settled.
The agreement, which was recorded and adopted in court on September 30, 2021, provides that in default of any single instalment, the entire balance will fall due and a warrant of arrest against Mr Muthama will automatically ensue.
According to the agreement, the warrant of arrest is supposed to be executed by the officer commanding police station in Lamu or at Parliament.
“Mr Muthama and his company, Stansha Ltd, have persistently breached the consent (agreement). They defaulted to pay Sh1,550,000 before September 30, 2021, but only remitted Sh750,000 and issued post-dated cheques. They have failed to pay a sum of Sh750,000 that was due on April 1, 2022,” the businesswoman said through her lawyer Robinson Kigen.
The agreement was adopted after the court allowed Mr Muthama’s request to liquidate the decretal amount of Sh10,927,469 in instalments since he had no capacity to offset the entire amount in a lump sum, owing to financial hardship.
Company closing shop
In an affidavit dated August 23, 2021, he informed the court that his company, Stansha Ltd, closed operations in 2019 as a result of tax arrears amounting to Sh36.2 million.
He added that he was facing financial difficulties owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and his net salary was Sh28,874, which was not sufficient to sustain him and his family.
He annexed his payslips, bank statement and correspondences from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to support his request.
Mr Muthama added that he stood to suffer irreparable damage and his name would be tarnished if he was to be arrested and committed to the civil jail.
During adoption of the agreement, the court noted that the KRA letters indicate Stansha Ltd had a high turnover in 2018 and 2019, hence the huge amounts in tax arrears.
“Mr. Muthama’s pay slips, which have been filed, clearly show that he has deliberately over committed his salary by applying personal development loans yet he still knew he owed Saunett Ltd money which accrued back to 2015. He is currently servicing several personal development loans advanced by his sacco but has not explained how he utilised the said funds,” said Senior Principal Magistrate Dennis Mburu while allowing the monthly instalment.
Supply of goods and materials
The debt arose from a transaction involving supply of hardware goods and materials by Saunett Ltd to Stansha Ltd on diverse dates in 2014 and 2015.
Stansha initially owed Saunett Sh17.3 million but it made partial payments. Failure to pay the balance prompted Saunett to sue, leading to a judgment in its favour on December 4, 2020.
In 2019 Mr Stanley Muiruri Muthama was charged by KRA in court for allegedly evading payment of taxes amounting to Sh487 million between 2013 to 2017.