In 2016, Chris Brown was in the country where he performed to thousands of fans in Mombasa. And now Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Kirinyaga Woman Rep Purity Ngirici have been sued over a Sh6 million debt they owe an airline company.
Business Aircraft Management Ltd that operates as Flex Air Charters is demanding Sh2,534,768 and Sh3,886,387 from Joho and Ngirici respectively.
Court papers filed through lawyer Donald Kipkorir show that while the woman MP hired the chopper for campaigns during the 2017 general election, part of Joho’s flight was to attend Chris Brown concert in Mombasa.
The claim in the two separate cases is that the two hired helicopter services on different dates in 2016, but are yet to pay the outstanding balances.
For Joho, Flex Air – linked to the Kenyatta family – is seeking the payment for flying the governor to Mombasa from Wilson Airport between October 7 to October 17, 2016.
Andrew Ndaisi, in a sworn affidavit in support of the claim, says the county boss authorised two payments of Sh1.9 million which were banked directly to Flex Air’s account at the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) on October 12, 2016, and on October 26, 2016.
The company’s lawyer Kipkorir says in court papers that the county chief agreed to pay the hiring fees to Flex Air for use of aircraft AS 350 B3 but is yet to honour.
“The chief pilot flew and operated the aircraft, did the rotational flying and delivered its work pursuant to the agreement,” the lawyer states in his plaint.
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Korir holds that despite their client serving Joho with demand notices, the governor has “jointly and severally refused or neglected to make good the claim”.
“The plaintiff thereafter raised invoices dated October 18, 2016, amounting to a total sum of Sh4,434,768 inclusive of taxes, payable immediately,” the plaint reads in part.
Flex Air wants Sh2.5 million owed as at October 26, 2016, on account of principal sum plus accrued interest.
Hiring a helicopter is not a poor man’s thing, as it costs Sh170,000 per hour, translating to about Sh2,800 per minute.
Servicing a chopper is costlier at between Sh300,000 to Sh500,000; with Wilson charging nearly Sh8,000 for one to be parked there for a night.