NAIROBI, Kenya, May 27 – The Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) has called on the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko to take action against State officers who used government vehicles to campaign for the March 4 General Election.
The office of the Ombudsman released a report on Monday that states 15 government vehicles, that are known of, were used to woo voters by all four major coalitions.
“The Eagle coalition, the Amani coalition, the Jubilee coalition and the CORD (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) were involved in one way or another in misuse of government vehicles during the campaign,” the CAJ Chairman Otiende Amollo said.
The report goes on to state that the 15 vehicles belonged to the Office of the President, the now defunct Office of the Vice President and Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Planning, National Development and Vision 2030, the East African Community and the Regional Development Authority.
“We wrote to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles and they indicated to us to which ministry each vehicle belonged,” Amollo explained, “then we wrote to each of the ministries. In some instances, for example with the office of the Vice President, they wrote back and said the vehicle was present at the rally and it was understandable because it was assigned to the VP for press coverage.”
The report continues to state that the CAJ received responses from three ministries on the use of Government of Kenya (GK) vehicles in campaign rallies among them the former Ministry of Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 to which Peter Kenneth, a presidential contender, was attached.
“The Ministry confirmed that the GKA 150U was assigned to former Assistant Minister Peter Kenneth… The Ministry has however indicated in its letter to the CAJ that it had advised all public servants in the Ministry to ensure vehicles and facilities under the ministry are not used for political campaigns,” the report reads.
Kenneth had earlier in the year criticised his opponents for misusing government resources in their campaigns when he met with the European Union Election Observation Mission to Kenya.
The report goes on to accuse the CORD coalition of not only using GK vehicles, but of changing the number plates to that of a private vehicle.
“A white Nissan X-Trail bearing two registration numbers KAL 686V and GK A 859U (on the windscreen and the side mirror) was spotted at a rally organised by the CORD coalition in Kisumu on Friday, March 1, 2013,” the report reads.
The CAJ has therefore called on the Registrar or Motor Vehicles to, “reconsider, tighten or abolish the assigning of private number plates to GK vehicles, as this process is open to abuse.”