NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – The back-and-forth between the Office of Deputy President William Ruto and the Daily Nation over the jet hired for his four-nation Africa tour continued on Thursday, with further denials.
The Permanent Secretary in his office Mohamed Isahakia released a statement rebutting fresh reports by the newspaper that they dealt with a firm known as VistaJet Luftfahrtunternehmen GmbH in hiring the jet.
Isahakia argued that the private jet that was used by the deputy president was leased from E-ADC Limited and not the European company quoted by the daily.
The newspaper released an invoice showing that the jet was hired from VistaJet at a cost of Sh24.14million, which was “the first instalment of quarterly payments.”
Ruto’s office insists the jet was a one-off hire at Sh18.5 million from E-ADC Limited based in Kenya.
“The Office of the Deputy President does not have any agreement or dealings with VistaJet Luftfahrtunternehmen GmbH and therefore it clearly follows that there can be no VistaJet Program Partnership Agreement as reported,” argued Isahakia.
“Further, this company is not pre-qualified by the office.”
He explained that E-ADC Ltd was selected to provide the service as the lowest bidder and a local service order No: 0855010 dated May 16, 2013 issued to the supplier.
Isahakia maintained that E-ADC’s quotation was Sh18.5 million and that payment was yet to be made because the documentation was still being processed.
“The purported agreement between VistaJet Luftfahrtunternehmen GmbH and Mr Evans Nyachio, a procurement officer, is strange to the office. Mr Nyachio has no capacity to bind the government to such an agreement,” he explained.
“The authorised officer for purposes of contracts and commitments issued by the Office of the Deputy President is the Permanent Secretary.”
Isahakia added that the government procurement process was duly followed despite accusations from the media house, which broke the story on Sunday.
The deputy president has threatened to sue the media house over its accusations saying they are defamatory.
“It was expressly meant to embarrass, discredit and malign his respected status and standing as a respected Kenyan and Deputy President in the government of Kenya,” read a statement from Ruto’s lawyer Kioko Kilukumi on Wednesday.
Members of Parliament also launched an offensive against the newspaper on Wednesday accusing its journalists of flouting media freedom.