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China snatches Sh1.4b police vehicle contract

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012


“]The Chery Tiggo, a Sport Utility Vehicle could soon replace the GK Land Rover and Land Cruiser [Photo:File/Standard]Even as you wheel home Chinese goods from almost every shop, get treated in Chinese-built hospitals, drive along Chinese-made super highway, enjoy a soccer game in a China-built stadium, ride a train running on a China-built railway from Lamu to Ethiopia and Sudan, you could soon dial 999 and a policeman responds in a Tiggo.

Chery Tiggo, a Sport Utility Vehicle could soon replace the GK Land Rover and Land Cruiser, as soon as Government imports 760 motor vehicles for the Provincial Administration and Police Department from China ahead of the General Election.

The Administration Police, the Provincial Administration, and Regular police face a severe shortage of vehicles estimated at 800.

In response, the Government has allocated Sh1.4 billion for the purchase of a fresh fleet to bolster security operations.

The acquisition aims to improve and widen security patrols in the wake of Somali militia Al Shabaab attacks, and to prepare for the election.

It is understood that at least Sh1 billion is being spent on the China-made station wagons, single and double cabin pick-up trucks, and at least a dozen lorries to be deployed to the departments.

Investigations by The Standard reveal that the first consignment of 212 cars for the police arrives any time next month, as they are still being customised and spray-painted in the force’s colours and emblazoned in their logos.

The lucrative tender was won by Chery Motors East Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of Stantech Motors in a bidding session after the company was duly pre-qualified by the Ministry of Public Works as a Government supplier.

A consignment of 60 vehicles is reported to be in Mombasa, but Ministry of Internal Security officers remained cagey with information and details of the first consignment, of 100 units of the Chery Tiggo station wagons, 50 double-cabin trucks, and single cabin pick-up trucks of ZX Grand Tiger models.

Some 12 trucks of the JAC model will also be supplied to the uniformed officers.

Internal Security minister George Saitoti said the force was set to receive a fresh fleet, but declined to be drawn into discussion about the consignment from China.

“It is important that we ensure our officers have vehicles that can enable them respond to issues effectively. We currently have a deficit,” the Prof Saitoti said.

Distributed equally

“This financial year the Ministry of Internal Security has been allocated Sh1.4 billion for the purchase of motor vehicles,” Saitoti told The Standard on Wednesday.

Out of this allocation, the minister said Sh49.9 million would buy vehicles for the Provincial Administration; Sh1 billion for regular police, while Sh400 million will be spent on the Administration Police.

His Assistant minister, Orwa Ojode, however, confirmed that the Government is procuring vehicles for the police and the Provincial Administration.

Mr Ojode told The Standard, that there was a shortfall of 800 vehicles countrywide for Internal Security.

He noted that for the police they would import 160 vehicles, which are set to come over in a short while. He said they expect to import 300 vehicles for the Administration Police, and another 300 for the Provincial Administration.

“The vehicles will be distributed equally around the country. There are many district officers who do not have vehicles yet they are required to perform,” he added.

Ojode noted that the Government was importing the vehicles to ensure that the police and Provincial Administration are better equipped to handle security matters.

“We are approaching the General Election and issues of security will be of high concern. We do not want our personnel to be handicapped,” he added.

Ojode noted that they were still pleading with the Treasury to release more funds so that the Government can buy more vehicles.

But some quarters have reacted to the massive importation to be sourced from China’s Chery Automobile Company Ltd, raising concerns even before the consignment of 400 vehicles arrive in Mombasa.

The arrangement for the acquisition has been packaged with 40 vehicles to be delivered free of charge as an incentive.

The freebies have raised questions in the motor sector; with experts warning the number is beyond the normal trial freebies extended to bulk buyers.

Motor vehicle consultant Hanningtone Gaya on Wednesday criticised the deal and warned that the Government would not get value for money.

Said Gaya: “I would not advise the Government to go in that direction. Those are vehicles that have not been tried on Kenya’s rough terrain and bad roads.”

“What is important in the acquisition of a car is first, the quality, and secondly, a reliable after-sales service,” Mr Gaya said in an interview.

“The questions we must ask is where is the after- sales service and are spare parts available and affordable. If these questions are answered in the affirmative then the deal is right,” said Gaya.

“Remember the challenges we experienced with the Mahindra and Daewoo brands? We must not go that direction again,” Gaya warned.

Gaya recommended that police given the arduous nature of operations would have their best bet on Land Cruisers and Land Rovers, which have been tested over time.

Voices of dissent

Gaya dismissed the 40 cars donated free of charge as “a trap meant to hoodwink the (Kenyan) buyer.”

But even within the rank and file of uniformed officers there were voices of dissent.

“We do not want to compromise the image of the police at this crucial time. We are still reeling from the effects of the Mahindra vehicles saga and in an election year this will be politicised,” said a senior police officer who requested anonymity.

A top police officer confirmed that the procurement was being undertaken by Office of the President.

Senior Counsel Paul Muite on Wednesday told The Standard that security acquisitions remained shrouded in mystery despite a new constitutional era requiring transparency and accountability.

“The history of security acquisitions is littered with mysterious procurements and dates back to the 1960s and 1970s. This must stop,” Muite said.

Mr Muite decried how trucks acquired from China have killed many military officers because the vehicles did not meet safety measures.

The decision to turn to China for the vehicles is expected to cause furore from other nations like Japan, Germany, and Britain, which have traditionally supplied cars to the Government of Kenya.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000054604&cid=4&currentPage=1

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8 Responses to “China snatches Sh1.4b police vehicle contract”

  1. If the vehicles have been subjected to rigorous testing, and passed, then lets go for it! If not, this could be a repeat of the Mahindra saga, whose junks are lying in garages across the country.

    • irenepaul@yahoo.com said

      You are right the Mahindras were a total scam.For some reasons I think we are being shot here.Can they consider the flow of spare parts ,fuel consumption ,durability ,stability and ability to handle different kinds of terrain .

      • Mahindra from India and DAF from Sweeden were donations those who donated these vehicles their aim was to sell spare parts, but anything donated or given is not taken care of. I may not under rate the quality of Mahindra perhaps they are good vehicles if not better but we all know sweeden have quality vehicles. If these vehicles will be taken care and maintain regulary they can last.

  2. irenepaul@yahoo.com said

    This cars are not ready for market in Kenya especially in the police force .The have only been in production since 2006,have only petrol engines,have no rugged chassis ,poorly designed single overhead cam engines with low power, non turbo , low brake horse power , questionable ability to handle extreme weather conditions ,the crash performance done scored very low,People lets get serious were are talking about cars that can match and do better than those on the streets.

    • Kangemi said

      Irene, very good questions. However, your excellent questions hardly make it beyond this forum. Many of us commenting on this thread/forum are in far off places. For those not able to make it home for obvious reasons – understood. Those who can, what positive change have you made in our motherland?

      • beth said

        Why do you keep asking people what they have done at home . We have tangible role to play in Kenya whether physically there or outside .Who live in Kenya that has done something.who is outside that has done nothing .You and other people that has this line of thinking need to know that when we talk here in public we talk on Macro things that bid us together as Nation.This are things that later affect us as cell family or individuals.When you question private Kenyans what they have or why they are not successful to be known, you are being unfair because that depends on whole lot of variance.Any Kenyans has the right to opinion on all public decisions.Hate them or not but most of those businesses or buildings you see raising in Kenya has in some ways strings attached to diaspora.

      • Kangemi said

        Beth, of what value is it to complain without being part of the solution? Kenya’s problems emenate from the fact that we refuse to vote for competent leaders but vote along tibal lines. Kudos to those building in Kenya as they create jobs. Kudos to those who value service as opposed to corruption when they are entrusted with public resources. Exactly what value are those “macro” ideas if they are not implemented anywhere? Come on Beth, lets move away from domo domo domo all the time and start being that difference generations to come will experience,

      • beth said

        I am with you with the implementation. I just feel sometimes we loose focus who is doing who.The duties of a citizen is to follow the law,do private business.pay taxes,elect competent leaders,call the issues, volunteer where we can become philanthropic if we are blessed and name that school or hospital to our mothers ,marry a man and have manageable children .Our f*** leaders and ” pastors” plan make laws and use our taxes for public works .But it not our job to do public work .some of our leaders has stone age vision while pocketing millennial paycheck.when they sleep; western embassies are watching and in spirit second take the opportunity of the void and off the cliff we sign a 20 yr deals that we have to pay.talking about ambassadorial, what the h** do they do and who audit them.It is this issues we talk about while we still pay other children s fees and build churches.

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