Cabinet Secretary on spot over purchase of exorbitant 7million fuel guzzler

In 2011 the government headed by Mwai Kibaki set up a maximum Sh2 million cap for purchase of state vehicles

The Water and Irrigation ministry is on the spot for irregular purchase of a Sh7 million car, clearly breaching the government directive against purchase of plush fuel guzzlers.

In 2011 the government headed by Mwai Kibaki set up a maximum Sh2 million cap for purchase of government vehicles to be used by state officials.

“The State Department purchased a vehicle for the Cabinet Secretary at a cost of Sh7million contrary to Office of the President Circular Ref. No. CAB/56/2A of 7 July 2011 which gave the upper limit of Sh2million,” said Mr Ouko.

The Water and Irrigation cabinet secretary, Eugene Wamalwa is therefore hard-pressed to explain why he broke the law by exceeding the stipulated budget by more than 5million shillings.

“In the circumstances, the State Department of Water irregularly spent Sh5 million,” the Auditor said.

Mr. Ouko explained the exorbitant price of the fuel guzzler was one of the reasons behind the departments’ accounts being labelled as qualified opinion.

Qualified opinion is an accounting jargon which indicates information provided for the audit was limited.

The Cabinet Secretary, Wamalwa has however denied knowledge or possession of the Sh7 million vehicles.

“Which car? No car was purchased for the Cs by any department,” Mr Wamalwa said through his personal assistant Kizito Temba.

This is not the first time however the CS has been caught on the wrong side of the law. Last year he was entangled in another vehicle scandal with the Kenya Revenue Authority.

During a crackdown on fraudulent vehicles, KRA discovered his Range rover had apparently been registered as an Isuzu truck therefore evading paying required taxes.

The Taxman summarily listed the vehicle among the 121 cars that were deregistered for ‘fraudulent registration and evasion of tax”.

When Kibaki introduced the car limit directive, some ministers opposed the move, arguing their duties required them to travel through rough terrain.

The government then ordered some seven-seater Land Rovers for any occasion that calls for ministers to do fieldwork, so it is not clear why the CS could not use the same.

Treasury had envision it would save up to Sh2 billion a year if ministers and top civil servants used vehicles with smaller engine capacity of  1,800cc vehicles that use less fuel and are cheaper to maintain.


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