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Isuzu breaks silence on bus DP Ruto unveiled

On March 6, Deputy President William Ruto accompanied by Tigania West MP John Mutunga arrived at Kianjai market in Meru County driving in a school bus they were to hand over to Kianjai Girls Secondary School.

He was greeted by cheers and celebration since the school and neighbours had patiently waited for the deputy president to fulfil a promise he made in 2019.

However, something was amiss with the bus: It lacked a number plate and according to the Tigania West legislator, it had been taken off the dealer’s showroom just for a ceremonial handover.

Immediately after the ceremony, residents under a group known as Tigania Eye claimed that the bus had been returned to Nairobi and that the handover was a scam.

More than a week later, Isuzu East Africa (Isuzu EA) on Wednesday waded into the controversy by denying that the bus ordered by Kianjai Girls Secondary School ever left Nairobi for Meru.

In a statement to the media, Isuzu EA communications manager Dancan Muhindi said Kianjai Girls’ Secondary School ordered a 46-seater bus in September 2019 and payment was completed in December 2020.

“Subsequently, a chassis was allocated and bus body fabrication commenced. The bus has recently been completed and number plates issued. We expect to make delivery of the bus to the school next week.” Mr Muhindi stated.

Questions now abound on which bus the DP unveiled during the event if the one Kianjai Girls High School paid for never left the Isuzu headquarters in Nairobi.

On further inquiry, Mr Muhindi said he was not aware that the Kianjai bus had left Nairobi for Meru for a ceremonial handover to the school.

Ceremonial handover

“I am not aware of those facts. What I know is that the bus is here with us,” he told the Nation on phone.

Late in the evening, Mr Muhindi called the Nation with new information and said the bus which was used by the Deputy President for the ceremonial handover came from an Isuzu authorised bodybuilder in Thika.

“Apparently, there was an arrangement between the (bodybuilder) and the school to ceremonially present a bus. For ceremonial handover, the bus can be different from what was ordered,” Mr Muhindi explained.

Reached for comment DP Ruto’s spokesman Emmanuel Tallam said: “Isuzu has clarified the matter and that is the position. The bus was bought by CDF and the Deputy President was just a contributor. Only the Tigania West MP can clarify which bus was handed over in Meru.”

The MP had earlier said that the vehicle had been released before the completion of works.

He said due to delays in completing the fabrication of the bus before Dr Ruto’s visit, it was agreed that the bus be availed for a ceremonial handover.

“General Motors (Isuzu EA) agreed to give us the bus for a ceremonial handover and then it be completed later. I cannot bring the DP all the way from Nairobi for a false ceremony yet we have been planning it for six months,” Dr Mutunga said. Isuzu EA has since maintained that the bus never left its showroom.

The MP also blamed the controversy on his political opponents and those of the Deputy President.