Kenya fuel guzzlers up for sale

May 28, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Ninety nine fuel guzzlers that were surrendered by Ministers and Permanent Secretaries last year will be sold via pubic auction on June 9.

In an advertisement put on the dailies on Friday, Treasury welcomed those wishing to purchase the top of the range vehicles to view them at the godowns of the Chief Mechanical and Transport engineer at Industrial area.

“The declared purchases must deposit 25 percent of the purchase price at the fall of the hammer and the balance paid within seven days from the auction date,” says the advert.

“A refundable bankers cheque of Sh30,000 should be deposited in favor of the Financial Secretary at Treasury.”

Vehicles up for sale include Mercedes models and four wheel-drive Toyota Land Cruisers. The austerity measure was introduced by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta in last year’s budget to reduce government spending by using more economical vehicles. In his directive, Mr Kenyatta ruled out the use of vehicles with engine capacities exceeding 1800 cc.

Cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries and other public officials, who usually have a fleet of cars at their disposal, were also limited to only one. Treasury PS Joseph Kinyua had said the government expected to generate about Sh500 million from the sale of cars returned by its officials.

State House also rejected an imported fleet of luxury cars in the same spirit of cost cutting, although the President’s motorcade and that of the prime Minister and the Vice President had not been targeted by the directive.

In exchanged for the vehicles the Ministers, their assistants and the Permanent Secretaries were allocated VW Passats. At least 120 Passats were imported by the Treasury last year.

A number of Ministers had defied the directive some on the argument that their status befitted the guzzlers while others said they needed the powerful machines to traverse rural areas while on duty. The Finance Ministry however allocated a pool of four wheel-drive vehicles for use when the Ministers have to travel to the grassroots on duty.

There were reports that the directive will be extended to parastatal chiefs, judges and other senior civil servants in government corporations who still enjoy the services of the top range vehicles.


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