Nairobi News

General

We need an explanation on failed bus project

It is becoming increasingly clear that what was a noble idea by the County Government to provide residents with affordable public transport has collapsed.

The plan entailed the county acquiring 100 buses by December. The governor was to launch the first fleet on February 14 but this never materialised.

The embattled Roads and Transport Executive Member Evans Ondieki had entered a deal with a private firm, Maslah Executive to form a new company to be known as Diamond Coach Ltd which would own and run the buses.

According to documents seen by NairobiNews, the company would own a 49 per cent stake and the county government 51 per cent shares.

The county would, in addition, pay off a Sh39 million loan Maslah owed the First Community Bank in three equal instalments.

The logbooks for the buses would be jointly registered in the names of Diamond Coach Ltd and the County Government.

The County projected that the bus company would rake in Sh20 million monthly while providing affordable transport to city residents.

It would start off with 10 buses and gradually increase them to 100 over a nine-month period.

Buses confiscated

It turns out that Maslah Executive Ltd failed to service a loan with First Community Bank which then moved to confiscate the first fleet of 10 buses with a view to auctioning them to recover its money, effectively killing the otherwise noble venture.

The manner in which the County Government, and Ondieki in particular, went about the project leaves a lot to be desired.

It would appear that this was more of an Ondieki project with the involvement of the County Government being very minimal.

It would also appear that the buses were not new after all and were to be refurbished before they could take to the road.

The County Government owes Nairobi residents an explanation because there are so many questions which need to be answered. Nairobians need to know how Ondieki, on behalf of the County Government negotiated the project.

They must be told how the company, Maslah Executive Ltd was sourced and by whom? Those found culpable in the buses’ mess must be prosecuted.

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