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Now Mudavadi tones down on guzzlers

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local government Musalia Mudavadi now says he is ready to surrender his fuel guzzling vehicles and pick the VW Passat model replacement.

He said on Monday that the make of the vehicle should not present a problem as long as it functioned properly. The DPM however urged his Finance counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta to make proper provisions for vehicles for use in rough terrain.

“We have to take into account that some ministries will have to function with a different vehicle,” said Mr Mudavadi who had last week questioned the rationale behind the Finance Minister’s directive.

He pointed out that that the current Passat model will also not be sufficient in rough terrain.

“If purely all the running was within Nairobi, there is no problem but if you are going to move out and do some fieldwork then it is going to be very difficult,” he said.

Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta issued the directive to buy less expensive vehicles as austerity measures to cut down on government expenses in his June Budget. In total, only 65 heavy engine vehicles were surrendered by the Friday deadline.

Only 17 Cabinet Ministers and 19 Assistant Ministers had returned the high capacity vehicles by the deadline.  The Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura is among 11 Permanent Secretaries and accounting officers who beat the deadline and returned their vehicles.  Kenya has 41 Cabinet Ministers and 52 Assistant Ministers.

Meanwhile, Mr Mudavadi has stressed the need for differing parties in the Constitution making process to come to a consensus on contentious issues.

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“Even if I wanted to have a presidential system and I keep on insisting I want a presidential system and there are other people who want a parliamentary system we will never win,” he said.

“But if we reach a stage and accommodate each other, then we will find a solution.”

He urged the public to fully participate in the constitution debate once the Committee of Experts (CoE) releases it for 30 days.

“Let us now wait for CoE to release its report. Once they bring it out, then all the other stages will come in and we shall see that we get a new Constitution,” he said.

“The period of 30 days is when people come together and negotiate, discuss and smooth the process.”

The Deputy Premier was speaking at Charter Hall where the Nairobi City Council launched an initiative which will enable the youth to collect taxes from businesses across the city.

Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa said that the program will target over 100,000 registered businesses.

“It is an initiative to collect the data for city council revenue base,” he said.

The Deputy Premier urged the youth not to be swayed by unscrupulous individuals.

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“There are some businessmen who will try to give you tips so that you can overlook their businesses,” he said.

“That is the beginning of ruining what the City Council wants to do.”


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