Yesterday the high court declared former Lugari MP and presidential hopeful Cyrus Jirongo bankrupt after he was unable to pay a Ksh 700 million debt he owed businessman and former associate Sammy Kogo. Jirongo had used Kogo’s property as security to secure a loan from the National Bank but failed to pay.
Jirongo woes started back in the day over the NSSF Hazina Estate tussle. Jirongo had bought 23 acres of land in South B through his firm Sololo Outlets Limited. The land was bought at Ksh 63 million, a significant sum at that time. Development on the land included 100 maisonettes, 320 flats, a nursery school, a primary school and shopping complex.
NSSF however kicked Sololo out of the project after the company requested additional funds. Mugoya Construction took over and completed the remaining 50 percent. What ensued was a protracted court case in which it emerged Jirongo was being hounded out of the project by KANU bigwigs unhappy with his YK’92 dealings.
Sololo had taken a loan rumoured to be about Ksh 20 billion from defunct Post Bank Credit for the Hazina Estate development. It is alleged Sololo was unable to pay the loan and the court had issued orders that auctioneers seize 1,000 acres of land Jirongo owned in Ruai. However, Jirongo was able to get a court injunction to stop the seizure and auction.
In October 2015, Deputy President William Ruto agreed to pay Jirongo Ksh 140 million as compensation for land and property in Ngong Town. Ruto and Jirongo had acquired the property in early ‘90s during their YK’92 involvement. Allegedly Jirongo used this sum to finance his United Democratic Party (UDP) he formed in May 2015.
Jirongo’s woes extended to close ally and kinsman Francisi Atwoli. Atwoli threatened to file a suit against Jirongo for failing to pay a Ksh 100 million debt he had extended to him on a friendly basis.
In July this year, Jirongo lost property estimated to be worth millions of shillings after he defaulted on ksh 495 million loan. The court instructed valley Auctioneers to sell 103 acres of land owned by Kuza Farms & Allied Limited.
This is after Jirongo lost a case challenging Central Bank of Kenya from placing his company under receivership over ksh 495 million it owed the defunct Dubai Bank.
Jirongo was once a powerful broker in the Kanu government, under the Youth for Kanu (YK’92) brand. Jirongo rose to become chairman of the crop of youthful politicians former President Daniel Moi’s ruling party conscripted to be its face. Other individuals associated with the outfit include Deputy President William Ruto, Sammy Kogo, Joe Kimkung and Joe Mwangale.