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Former Minister ‘also allowed in old cars’ 

The tax collector may have lost almost Sh2 billion in revenue due to the fraudulent importation of over-age vehicles.

According to minutes of meetings held in 2006, more than 3,000 vehicles that did not meet the required standards had been allowed into the country fraudulently.

The new evidence brought by former Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey, who is charged with abuse of office, alleges that his predecessor, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, also allowed over-age vehicles to be imported.

Mr Kosgey was counteracting evidence from his former permanent secretary, Prof John Krop Lonyangapuo, who told the court that he had received complaints of favouritism in the exemptions.

“There were complaints that the ministry was allowing exemptions to benefit politicians and wealthy Kenyans,” said Prof Lonyangapuo, who is currently Public Works PS.

According to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) import orders, importation of vehicles over the age of eight years is not allowed.

But Mr Kosgey has maintained that he acted within the law in allowing the imports. He argues that he was exercising his powers as stipulated in the Kebs rules, just like Dr Kituyi did.

The November 2006 meeting is said to have been attended by officials from the Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Bureau of Standards, who met to address the crisis.

The cars were allowed into the country but since they did not adhere to the necessary standards they were impounded by the KRA.

Mr Kosgey took over the ministry in 2008 and is alleged to have illegally authorised the importations of more than 100 over-age vehicles between November 2009 and May 2010.

The case has been adjourned to April 19.

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