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A trader who conned Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai Sh10 million on a promise of selling her a piece of land in Karen has been declared bankrupt.

Lady Justice Maureen Odero declared James Mbaluka as bankrupt for failing to refund the MP her money and ordered that a receiver-manager be appointed to manage his properties until the full amount he received from the MP is repaid.

“Having failed to repay the full amount owed despite a court order, I am satisfied that James Mbaluka be adjudged as bankrupt and the court appoints the official receiver-manager as trustee to manage his estates until the debt is realised,” ruled Odero.

Mbaluka was among several suspects charged in court with the controversial transfer of the 134-acre land in Karen belonging to businessman Horatius Da Gama Rose.

It was the disputed land that he attempted to sell to Ms Nyamai in July 2014 in the pretext that he could help her acquire a portion.
The MP through lawyer Angela Mwadumbo told the court that she wanted to purchase land in Nairobi and met Mbaluka who promised he could help her get land in Karen.
Ms Mwadumbo submitted that after several meetings, Mbaluka convinced the MP that he had a genuine title for the disputed land and even took her for a site visit to the disputed land after which they agreed on a purchase price of Sh30 million for one acre.
According to the lawyer, the two agreed the money would be paid in three instalments in which she was to pay Sh10 million instalment and the reaming amount after all transfer documents were executed.

She said that after the sale agreement was signed, Nyamai transferred Sh10 million to Mbaluka’s account but the trader changed his attitude after receiving the money and started avoiding the MP.

“The MP waited for him to procure the necessary documents but he would come up with one excuse after another as to why he could not get them until she decided to rescind the agreement and demanded for a refund of her money,” said Mwadumbo.

The court agreed with the MP’s application and ordered Mbaluka to refund the deposit plus interest which amounted to Sh13 million.

Mbaluka managed to pay Sh8 million but has been unable to clear the balance which prompted Nyamai to make the application for him to be declared bankrupt.

Lady Justice Odero ruled that Mbaluka should blame himself for the turn of events, having been allowed to pay in installments but has refused to honour his promises.

“He does not deny that he received the money but it is evident he is totally unable to pay the balance of Sh5 million. He even had to be arrested and committed to civil jail that he raised part of the debt,” ruled Odero.

She added that even after the MP offered to negotiate with him to find a way of settling the debt, he was unwilling leaving the court with no option but to declare him bankrupt.

The Judge’s decision means the MP can go ahead and attach the trader’s properties and sell them to recover her money.

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Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai
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