KENYA SUMAKU

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Mars Group to the mark-Any truth here?

Posted by Popular Ombudsman on November 7, 2009

Car dealer gave OP Sh1.8bn, says lobby
Government Ministers can be rapacious in the extreme. When they are implementing a secret deal, they will sell it as the solution to the biting poverty. Uhuru seems to revel in that. Remember the excess councillors, the land purchased from himself (which land they possessed under dubious cirumstances!) and proudly dancing with IDPs as the great benefactor distributing land to suffering Kenyans, the 9.6 billion shilling typographical error? Check this deal once again!

By CAROLINE WAFULA (Daily Nation) Posted Friday, November 6 2009 at 21:07

A lobby group has linked the controversial purchase of 120 Passat cars to a government debt dating way back in 2003. The Mars Group told the Parliamentary Accounts Committee on Friday that CMC Holdings lent the government Sh1.8 billion in 2003.

The money was to be used to buy Land Rover vehicles for the Office of the President. According to the group, the company was to also supply the Land Rovers. Six months ago, the NGO put Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta on the spot over Budget estimates, forcing the Treasury to admit to a ‘typing error’ in the Budget.

Now, the group claims CMC Holdings loaned the Government Sh1.8 billion in June 2003 to buy 522 Land Rovers. Mars Group claims Treasury afterwards issued 25 promissory notes in the transaction and later the debt was held and collected on by an international bank in London.

The group presented to extracts from the Government’s statement of public debt where CMC and an international bank are listed as creditors to the Government of Kenya and repayments indicated.

Investigate

Activists Mwalimu Mati, Jayne Mati and Cyprian Nyamwamu of the movement for Partnership for Change through Mars Group asked the Public Accounts Committee to investigate the matter further. The committee is scheduled to meet the Finance minister on Monday to question him on the procurement process which resulted in the purchase.

The committee is interested in finding out why the Minister decided to single source the vehicles from CMC Holdings. The Mars Group team argued that the fact that the contract is not listed on the Public Procurement Oversight Authority web site should raise eyebrows.

The chief executive office of CMC is on record having said the firm is yet to be paid for the vehicles, and Mars group wants PAC to question the Minister on the terms of the purchase. Meanwhile, Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita said his colleagues and ministers criticising Mr Kenyatta’s directive on fuel guzzlers are being hypocritical.

He said the leaders had cheered Mr Kenyatta when he announced the cost-cutting measures in the Budget last June but were now criticising him for implementing it. “We glorified him in and outside Parliament and now that he has moved with speed to implement it, some of us now read sinister motives,” said the ODM MP.

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