By SAM KIPLAGAT
Wednesday September 19 will remain memorable to Cyrus Jirongo for the rest of his life. He spent a night in police cells for non-payment of a debt.
Without the help of Devolution secretary Eugene Wamalwa — who presented his Mercedes Benz car as surety for his release on Thursday — things would have only got worse for Mr Jirongo who 26 years ago wielded power as a luminary of a well-oiled re-election campaign machinery for then president Daniel arap Moi.
As part of the showy Youth for Kanu 92 campaign brigade, Mr Jirongo became a household name for his immense wealth and political influence — dinning with the high and mighty.
NOTHING IS PERMANENT
But as it turns out today nothing is permanent and the politician finds himself in a rather tough patch financially, struggling to pay off his debts.
Lawsuits and property auction threats against Mr Jirongo for non-payment of debt have intensified in recent years, revealing the piling financial woes that have befallen the politician. His latest troubles began on Tuesday when the police enforced an August 6 arrest warrant for failing to honour payment of a Sh20million debt owed to a friend turned foe, Bryan Yongo.
Mr Jirongo had earlier agreed to pay the debt saying that he would give it priority after selling his 500 acres of land in Ruai, Nairobi, and another five acres in Kisumu. He was also expecting compensation from the Nairobi County government for a plot in Industrial Area. However, his failure to settle the debt prompted Mr Yongo to apply for a warrant of arrest against him.
The debt, rising from a loan of Sh12.7 million, has ballooned to Sh25 million. Mr Yongo informed the court that Mr Jirongo had more than 20 times failed to honour his part of the bargain.
“I cannot indulge him any more,” Mr Yongo told Deputy Registrar Elizabeth Tanui.
In his defence, the politician told the court that he had already paid Sh24 million and was left with a balance of Sh1 million. He said he needed time to file papers showing that he had actually been paying. But Mr Yongo would hear none of it.
The court on Tuesday slapped Mr Jirongo with a Sh5m cash bail which he failed to pay, leading to an overnight stay in police cells until Mr Wamalwa came to his rescue.
The debt owed to Mr Yongo is part of a series of complaints facing Mr Jirongo. The politician is similarly battling another debt of Sh100 million claimed by Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary-General Francis Atwoli.
Court papers show that Mr Jirongo received a Sh100 million friendly loan from Mr Atwoli in August 2016. He promised to repay the money in 50 days with an interest of Sh10 million. He failed to honour the deal and claimed that they had agreed that the amount would be recovered from money the Nairobi County owes him. Mr Jirongo said the county was supposed to pay his company, Kuza Farms and Allied Ltd, following a consent order recorded before the Environment and Land Court in July 2016 arising from a case filed in 2014. In his ruling, Justice Francis Tuiyot said the United Democratic Party leader was personally liable for the debt and cannot, therefore, shift liability to Kuza. The judge also observed that Mr Jirongo acknowledged that the sums were advanced to him and that he bore the responsibility of repaying a sum of Sh110 million on or before October 21, 2016.
“Mr Jirongo’s indebtedness was plain and obvious in the acknowledgment and undertaking of August 10, 2016. It was even more obvious and unequivocal when Mr Jirongo gave further undertaking of October 21, 2016. This court holds and finds that Mr Jirongo has admitted owing Sh110 million to Mr Atwoli and there can be no defence to that claim,” ruled Justice Tuiyot.
Mr Jirongo’s debt woes were also highlighted when he offered himself as a presidential candidate in the 2017 General Election. A former partner turned rival saw a perfect chance to hit back by filing bankruptcy proceedings against him.
Although the orders were granted, Mr Jirongo somehow managed to lift the orders and his name was on the ballot box. Justice Olga Sewe granted the politician temporary reprieve by lifting bankruptcy orders in a debt owed to businessman Sammy Boit arap Kogo, who was demanding Sh700m from him.
While lifting the orders, Justice Sewe gave Mr Jirongo a chance to argue the legality of the order. He also said the move would bar him from contesting the repeat presidential election.
Separately, the former MP lost property worth millions of shillings to auctioneers last year for defaulting on a loan amounting to Sh495 million. Valley Auctioneers sold 103 acres of land belonging to Kuza Farms and Allied Limited.
The firm, located in Chepkoilel, Uasin Gishu County and which has a salt processing factory, was sold for over Sh65 million which was the reserve price. The land was auctioned after Mr Jirongo lost a court case challenging a decision by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to place his company under receivership for over Sh495 million owed to the collapsed Dubai Bank.
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11