Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris is not new to drama and scandals.
On Sunday in Kibra, Nairobi, Passaris made wild allegations claiming that Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko had reportedly acquired the famous Nairobi Safari Club Hotel – Lilian Towers. She alleges that Sonko has misappropriated county funds to purchase the famous Hotel which is valued at Sh1 billion. Passaris should know that Mike Sonko is the only Governor that has resisted the temptation to steal government money.
Passaris allegations are far from the truth since the national treasury has not disbursed even a single cent to the counties since the election of August 8 2017. In fact the Controller of Budget has also confirmed that the Nairobi County Government deposit all it’s revenue collection at the Central Bank of Kenya which means that Sonko cannot withdraw the Sh1 billion shillings required to purchase the Nairobi Safari Club Hotel.
Anyway we wish Sonko well if he wants to purchase the hotel as claimed by Passaris since every Kenyan has a right to own property anywhere in the country.
Back to Passaris, the woman is one of the most dangerously Kenyan women with a flair, aura and mien of the most aristocratic and sophisticated of women.
So in 2006 (one year after the alleged sexual harassment), Esther Passaris approached Equity Bank to lend her Sh60 million to roll out Equity Bank billboards throughout Nairobi. She had an approved LPO from the bank but she didn’t have the money. She was lucky that her client was a bank and she was friends with the CEO. Having been praised for her advertising skills, Equity believed that Adopt-A-Light would deliver. So she was given a Ksh 35.8million loan.
Unfortunately for Passaris, the Nairobi City Council (NCC) cancelled her exclusive outdoor advertising licence before the advertising deal with Equity could be fully implemented. This effectively meant Adopt a Light could not honour the deal with Equity. Passaris took the NCC to court for cancelling her advertising licence (the case is listed as Civil Case No: 637 of 2006 and was heard for the first time before Lady Justice Okwengu on May 8, 2006 and later by Justice Waweru on November 27, 2006 after the adjournment of the first case. The case played out in court as Equity Bank patiently waited for the contract to be honoured.
Meanwhile, Passaris and her company continued playing hide and seek with the advertising posts which would be erected and later be defaced or totally removed by the ruthless NCC enforcement officers. Tired of playing Ping-Pong with Passaris, the NCC’s City Planning department wrote to Equity Bank accusing it of erecting 244 adverts on various roads in Nairobi without its authority.
In the letter, the NCC asked Equity Bank to pay a total of Sh7,808,000 as application and licence fee for the year 2007 and 2008. Passaris went to court claiming to be paid for work that was not done. High court judge Fred Ochieng, in a ruling upheld an earlier judgment of the High Court where Passaris’ company Adopt-A- Light, had been awarded through arbitration, Sh30.9 million in June and interest of Sh4.9 million.
The arbitrators include lawyers Njoroge Regeru, Njeri Kariuki, and Ahmednasir Abdullahi. The bank paid Passaris anyway, perhaps with the hope that she would use the proceeds to pay part of the loan that she had been granted. But Passaris pocketed the money, stopped paying the loan and instead started writing letters to the bank asking that the interest rates on the loans she had procured be reviewed downwards. On August 21, 2009, the bank made a claim under a Performance Guarantee issued by APA Insurance Ltd for the botched advertising deal but the claim was not settled.
Passaris remained adamant and refused to repay her loan balance despite several reminders from the bank, forcing Equity Bank to go to court seeking to compel her to repay the loan. The case is listed as Civil case no: 470 of 2013. In the whole business deal, Passaris did not at any time deal with the bank’s MD, including during the application and disbursement of the loan that was overseen by the Relationship Manager in charge of credit at its Community Supreme Centre branch.
For Passaris to expect mercy on a business deal because of her imagined relationship with the CEO informs you what kind of character she is. Why is Passaris fond of billionaires? What’s with her claim and blackmailing of billionaires? Doesn’t she have something better than her private parts to depend on? In 2005 when the alleged sexual harassment actually took place (at Mt. Kenya Club as she said), she was an independent adult of sound mind. Why didn’t she take Dr. Mwangi to court then? Was she a minor or hurting? How long did her pain take?