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Mombasa lawyer in pursuit of unpaid attorney fees

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[A Mombasa based advocate of the High Court Lumutate Muchai of the Lumatete Muchai & Co. Advocates. Photo/Ahmed Omar/June, 22, 2022].

A Mombasa based advocate of the High Court Lumutate Muchai of the Lumatete Muchai & Co. Advocates are pursuing the County Government of Mombasa for unpaid legal fees amounting into millions of shillings.

Muchai while speaking said his 36 year old legal firm is seeking to recover Sh.126 million from the devolved unit in attorney’s fees.

He said several times without success the firm requested the county to clear the arrears.

The distraught lawyer said his attempts to recover the money owed by the county have been long and windy and the only proper approach of recourse now available is to pursue the unpaid fees through the courts.

He said his team in the past met several times senior county officials over the matter but the visits bore no fruit despite promises.

2008

The advocate said his firm is now ready to go on the offensive in the hunt to recover the unpaid fees since 2008.

He said his firm represented the defunct Mombasa Municipal Council before the transition to the current dispensation of governance in 2013.

“The only option open to us now is to sue the recalcitrant county government of Mombasa to recover the unpaid legal bills,” he said.

The long-standing lawyer said the National Treasury have released several times funds to the counties to settle their pending bills but whenever the monies hits the county treasuries the same is diverted to non-core issues.

Treasury

He wondered why the county was becoming difficult despite receiving disbursements from the Treasury.

Muchai said they are now willing to file lawsuits to confront the impunity demonstrated by the county authorities.

He noted that many people who have entered into business with the counties have committed suicide due to the unpaid bills issues.

Demand

A local human rights organisation, MUHURI, has come to the defense of the law firm saying it suspects corruption and unethical dealings on the part of the devolved unit.

MUHURI Chairperson Khelef Khalifa, says the county has not disputed the fees owed to Lumatete but has failed to explain why it did not pay the firm.

Khalifa says there are numerous complaints against the county over pending bills amounting to millions of shillings.

He noted that service providers are not paid yet the county financial system shows their debts are cleared.

The civil society and human rights activist says MUHURI is demanding that the county clears all genuine pending bills, including those owed to Lumatete.

He observed that where there is fraud, complicit staff must be held accountable.