The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Defence Ambassador Dr. Monicah Juma led the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and their families in marking the ninth KDF Day celebrations at Mariakani Garrison in Kilifi County on Wednesday, 14 October 2020.
KDF Day is observed annually to commemorate KDF soldiers’ gallantry and sacrifices in the line of duty. It is also a day to remember and honour the fallen KDF heroes who have paid the ultimate price in defence of the country. This year’s theme was ‘Enhancing Peace and Security through Civil-Military Cooperation.’
During the ceremony, the CS highlighted the crucial role KDF plays in guaranteeing territorial integrity and ensuring the success of AMISOM. Away from security, the CS also pointed out the involvement of KDF in National Development projects.
“The engagement of the KDF troops goes beyond emergencies. Our efforts to create an enabling environment of Vision 2030 and the Big 4 Agenda are growing,” she said.
In relation to this year’s theme, she touched on milestones made by the KDF in achieving Civic-Military cooperation. This includes the provision of water to locals residing in dry and arid areas, rehabilitation of the Nairobi-Nanyuki meter-gauge railway line, refitting of MV Uhuru, rehabilitation of the Kisumu seaport whose beneficiaries stretch beyond our borders to Uganda, combating locusts, among other many ongoing projects.
The CS also thanked the families of all KDF soldiers and assured them of support to all ends saying that their sacrifice will not go unforgotten.
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Robert Kibochi in his speech, emphasized the importance of the day, saying that, “This day that we reflect and learn from our past experiences in the line of duty to fulfil our mandate.”
The CDF thanked all KDF officers and Service Members for their selfless devotion in service.
“the acts of valour, efforts and sacrifices of our gallant officers and service members will not be forgotten” he said.
He also thanked families for standing by the soldiers.
During his address, he also took time to recognize the presence of KDF veterans such as retired Generals, officers and Warrant Officers.
During the event, officers and service members who had displayed exemplary devotion to service, innovation, selflessness in duty, bravery in combat and sacrifices that saved lives were recognized with awards.
The celebrations entailed several activities that included the unveiling of a monument by the CS in remembrance of the fallen heroes and laying of wreaths.
Various departments and Units within KDF also had display stands where they showcased their various roles and how they use the offices in support of civil-military cooperation.
Other dignitaries at the function included the Principal Secretary Ministry of Defence Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed, Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Levy Mghalu, Commander Kenya Army Lieutenant General Walter Koipaton, Commander Kenya Air Force Major General Francis Ogolla and Commander Kenya Navy Major General Jimson Mutai, General officers, retired Generals, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, Defence Attachés, Senior Officers, Officers, Service Members and their families.