Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o (pictured) has thrown senior county officials into a spin after rejecting a Sh19 million top-of-the-range vehicle bought for him.
The Toyota Land Cruiser V8 was last week driven to the office of the governor for use, but he declined to use until “it is officially registered”. Prof Nyong’o is also said to have told the county officials that he was comfortable using his current car.
The Standard has also learnt that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) are investigating how the car was procured.
A senior officer at the EACC office in Kisumu told The Standard in confidence that they had written to the County Secretary Dr Olango Onudi seeking purchase documents for the car.
This development has put some senior county officials who procured the car in an awkward situation as the car dealer is said to have refused to take it back.
“Prof Nyong’o’s handlers wanted him to use the car last week for a test drive but he refused,” said a senior officer who sought anonymity.
Finance Executive Nerry Achar said the governor only asked why the car had not been registered. “The car had no registration number plate. It only had a foreign registration, so we are now processing its registration,’’ said Achar.
Senator Fred Outa also questioned the rationale of spending millions of shillings just to buy one car at the expense of other development priorities.
“Vehicles are not bad, they are good but the cost matter a lot,’’ Mr Outa said.
But even as Outa decried the cost of the car, Nyong’o through his Communication Director Alloyce Ager defended the purchase.
“The governor only has one official vehicle. When we want to take the car for maintenance he has to wait for days, hence the resolve to buy him a new car,’’ Mr Ager said.
Ager claimed the current car used by the governor had aged.
He dismissed those criticising the decision to buy the car, saying they are out to antagonise his relationship with the people and portray his administration as extravagant.
County Director of Supplies and Chain Management Stephen Onduu said they followed the due procurement procedures by advertising through open tender.
“The car was bought through an open national Government tender. Anybody could have won the tender to procure the car with right specifications for the governor,’’ Mr Onduu explained.
Ager also dispelled claims that the governor had rejected the car. “He only said he cannot drive around in the car without an official county registration number plate,” he said.
Yesterday, Achar said the vehicle will have to go through government valuers before it is given an insurance cover.
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