Carpenter Sues over Shs200m Claim for Moi’s Presidential Chairs

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A carpenter has sued the government for about $2m (Sh202,020,000) for failing to pay him for two presidential chairs he had made 26 years ago for then-President Daniel Arap  Moi, Nairobi News reported on its website on Monday. Solomon Njoroge Kiore said he had delivered the chairs to the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) offices in Nairobi for a three-day presidential function.

President Moi used the chairs for a year, before they were returned to him, Kiore was quoted as saying. He had not been paid for the chairs, despite appeals to the Department of Defence, which issued the tender, and State House, Mr Kiore said. The two chairs have occupied a huge amount of space in his workshop, and his business has crumbled, Mr Kiore added.

Nairobi News also quoted him as saying: “It is an instrument of power. It was used by the president for a year. It is treasured and, therefore, no one is supposed to touch it. My business has suffered immensely because of this seat since I cannot allow ordinary wananchi [citizens] to tamper with an instrument of power.”

The news site reports that the government lawyers had indicated in February that it was prepared to reach an out-of-court settlement with Kiore, but he has not heard from them since then. Kiore said he would like the chairs to be kept at Kenya’s recently created State House Library and Museum.

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