Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa is reported to have gone into hiding after it was discovered that he had been using a vehicle funded by the taxpayer in his parliamentary election campaigns.
Apparently, Barasa branded the Constituency Development Fund (CDF)'s Ford Ranger double-cabin vehicle with UDA colours and photos of himself and Deputy President William Ruto.
Barasa also removed the vehicle’s original registration plates with registration number GK 948J and replaced them with plates bearing registration number KBS 709D, which preliminary investigations established are registered to Barasa’s brother.
Police impounded the vehicle at Barasa’s Nasianda home on Tuesday during a joint operation that involved officers drawn from the Nairobi Government Vehicles Check Unit, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Serious Crimes unit.
Kimilili Sub-county Police boss SSP Mwita Maroa confirmed the incident and said they acted on a tipoff from members of the public.
"We did this in a joint operation involving officers from the government vehicles check unit officers from Nairobi, Serious Crimes Unit and Directorate of Criminal Investigations from Nairobi and Kimilili," Maroa said.
Maroa said after receiving the tipoff, they went to verify the information they received from the county’s CDF offices where they found the vehicle missing before proceeding to the MP’s home where they found the vehicle parked.
"We took the initiative to go to the CDF offices but did not find it there, so we proceeded to his home where we found it," Maroa said.
However, the police could not immediately access the legislator’s compound because Barasa’s workers denied them entry since he was not in at the moment.
According to Maroa, the standoff forced the offices to invoke Section 26 of the Criminal Procedures to access Barasa’s compound and towed the vehicle away to the police station.
"We employed Section 26 of the Criminal Procedures Code that allows us to access anywhere, got into the house and confirmed that indeed it was a CDF vehicle," Maroa said.
Barasa has since gone into hiding and Maroa said they have launched a manhunt for him to face, among other charges, forgery and theft of government vehicle.