Didmus Barasa wanted over branding of GK vehicle with UDA party colours

Vehicle impounded at the home of Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa after a raid. [File, Standard]

Police are looking for Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa after a government vehicle was found branded with United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party colours complete with his campaign portrait.

According to the police, the vehicle’s registration number plate was changed to hide its original identity.

Kimilili sub-county police boss Mwita Marua said that the vehicle whose original registration details read GK948J was impounded in the homestead of Mr Barasa at Nasianda village on Tuesday morning.

According to Marua, the double cabin vehicle belonging to area National Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) had a new registration number - KBS 709D.

He disclosed that police are looking for the legislator to help with ongoing investigations into the matter.

"We conducted a joint operation involving the Government Check Unit officers from Nairobi, Serious Crimes personnel, DCI, the contingent invaded the lawmaker’s homestead following extensive investigations and managed to recover the vehicle which was towed to Kimilili Police Station then Bungoma and later Nairobi,” said the sub-county police commander.

Mr Marua said that police acted on a tip-off from members of the public who spotted the vehicle on the MP’s campaign trail.

“We took the initiative to go to the CDF offices but failed to locate the vehicle and decided to visit the MP’s home and found the branded vehicle parked there with a strange number plate attached to it.”

He said that the MP was not at home during the raid “and his workers were reluctant to allow our officers access in the compound.”

Police then forced their way into the home hoping that the criminal procedures code would justify such action.

“It is against the law to use government vehicles for personal engagements including campaigns, a manhunt has been launched for the lawmaker and we shall press charges against him once he is arrested.”

Marua said the MP will have to answer to charges of forgery, and theft of a government vehicle among other offenses related to his actions.

“We are in communication with NTSA to establish whether Barasa had changed the vehicle ownership into his name.

Speaking to The Standard, the MP said he had already recorded a statement with police in relation to the vehicle in question but did not disclose the police station he visited.

Barasa said the vehicle belongs to the CDF but noted that it was painted in UDA colours by mistake, adding that whoever was branding was instructed to display complete CDF projects on it and not party colours.

The MP said the issue of number plates was not a big issue because he usually change the registration numbers on the vehicles he uses regularly for security reasons