Citizen Television sports anchor Mike Okinyi has revealed that a Ksh18.5 million import tax, which had been imposed on Mercedes Benz M-Class gifted to him by Tottenham Hotspur star midfielder Victor Wanyama in 2013, was the reason he did not take the car.
The vehicle was in the United Kingdom at the time, when Mr Wanyama had just joined English Premier League (EPL) side, Southampton, from Celtic on a Ksh1.7 billion (£12.5 million) transfer deal.
Mr Okinyi, at the time, was in London for an exchange programme.
The two organised and met. Mr Wanyama would, thereafter, give Mr Okinyi a ride in his [Mr Wanyama’s] custom-made Mercedes Benz ML 350.
The sports journalist fell in love with the vehicle, and asked Mr Wanyama if he could gift it to him [Mr Okinyi].
The footballer accepted Mr Okinyi’s request, and told him to ship, pay customs duty and drive the car to the capital, Nairobi. Mr Okinyi could not, given the high import tax it attracted – Ksh18.5 million –, as revealed by Mr Okinyi.
The sports presenter made this revelation on Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange Live show on Wednesday, June 13, when he co-hosted the programme alongside Mr Koinange.
Victor Wanyama, 27, and his elder brother, McDonald Mariga, 31, who plays for second-tier Spanish side Real Oviedo, were the guests on JKL last Wednesday.
Addressing Mr Wanyama, Mike Okinyi said: “Vicky (Mr Wanyama), we had an agreement; the Mercedes we had talked about…”
Mr Wanyama, in a reclined posture and tone, did not divulge much about his agreement with Mr Okinyi.
Mr Okinyi, in a bid to bring Mr Koinange and Mr Mariga on board, pressed on, nonetheless.
“Wanyama told me, you want the Mercedes? Take it, ship it to Mombasa and drive it to Nairobi,” said Mr Okinyi.
Jeff Koinange, failing to fathom why Mr Okinyi did not take the lucrative offer, chimed in, saying: “So what was the problem?”
“Tax [was the problem], boss,” Mike replied.
“Aaah! But Vic [Mr Wanyama] has given you a gift?!” Mr Koinange wondered.
“The problem was the import tax, which was set at Ksh18.5 million,” Mr Okinyi replied, adding: “Could you have paid that, Jeff?”
Jeff responded authoritatively, saying: “Immediately! It is a gift from Victor, [remember]?”
A thunderous laughter followed thereafter, with Mr Okinyi acknowledging that people are not cut from the same financial clothe.