Senators fault CS over Sh500 million buses import deal

Transport CS James Macharia. [David Njaaga, Standard]
The Senate yesterday questioned the Transport ministry's decision to import 30 buses from South Africa at a cost of Sh500 million.

In a charged debate in the House, the lawmakers demanded that Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (right) rescinds the decision since similar buses can be procured locally, and at a lower cost.

They wondered how the Jubilee government planned to achieve one of the pillars of the Big Four agenda -manufacturing- yet it cannot promote local industries.

“People who are making these policies are embarrassing the president. Now that we have declared war on corruption, people should toe the line,” nominated senator Beth Mugo said.

The Ministry of Transport entered into negotiations with a South African firm in May to supply 30 high capacity buses to be used to move passengers across Nairobi in an effort to address the traffic menace by reducing congestion.

“The fact that there is a plan to import buses yet the country has the ability to assemble them locally is suspect Nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga said.

Senators Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga), Njeru Ndwiga (Embu), Enock Wambua (Kitui) and Paul Githiomi (Nyandarua) urged the CS to explain why he side-stepped local manufactures.

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