Local Government minister Fred Gumo could face charges of handling a stolen vehicle belonging to former president Daniel Moi, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko has warned.
Mr Tobiko said he had asked the Criminal Investigations department (CID) to forward the file on the theft the top-of-the range vehicle that went missing four years ago.
“I’ve requested for the file concerning the case to see whether there is enough evidence to charge Mr Gumo with the offence of handling stolen property,” Mr Tobiko told Nation.
If convicted, Mr Gumo could face up to 14 years in jail. The minister could also be forced to step aside if arraigned in court to face the charge.
Mr Gumo was found with the Range Rover early this month but maintained that he had bought it from a Mombasa based businessman Hassan Yusuf Abdalla.
The businessman was on Monday charged in a Nairobi Magistrate’s court with stealing the car.
He denied the charge when he appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Lucy Nyambura. The court allowed him a cash bail of Sh500,000.
Mr Gumo’s name was not in the list of nine witnesses the prosecution intends to call.
CMC Motors detained the car early this month after it was delivered to the company’s workshop in Nairobi Industrial Area for repair.
The company said it impounded the car after its details were closely matched with those of a car that went missing from its workshop in 2008. The car had been specially ordered by Mr Moi, with preferred features.
The Range Rover went missing in 2008 from the CMC Industrial Area, Nairobi, workshop where it had been taken for repairs after it was involved in an accident at Kijabe on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
“I traded in my vehicle with a Mombasa businessman to get this car. However, I rarely use it because I never received all the documents,” Mr Gumo maintained when contacted over the matter.
The minister said that at one time he returned the vehicle to the said seller but repossessed it after the businessman failed to pay him. He added that he has taken the vehicle to CMC for service many times.
The vehicle bore registration number KBQ 455S but records in the company’s computers showed that it was received for service yesterday as KBJ 124D.
It was towed by police to Central Police Station in Nairobi.
In a statement to newsrooms, CMC Chief Executive Officer Billy Lay said the vehicle dealer impounded the vehicle after its details matched the car that went missing in the premises.
“CMC is announcing that it has impounded a motor vehicle whose details are believed to closely match those of a car that was believed to have gone missing in its workshop in 2008,” said Mr Lay.
When the car was stolen in 2008, the then CMC chief executive, Martin Forster, filed a Sh18 million compensation claim with APA Insurance.
And when Ashok Shah, the insurer’s CEO and a CMC board member, rejected the claim, Mr Forster cancelled the insurance contract that the motor dealer had held with APA for two decades.