Defence Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Aden Duale has sought the support of Parliament to provide adequate budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Defence to facilitate its ongoing expansion and modernization efforts to enhance force posture of the Kenya Defence Forces.
He further implored the lawmakers to provide the necessary funding to enable recruitment before the end of 2023, an exercise that has not been done for the last two years owing to budgetary constraints.
The CS made the appeal when he appeared before the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committee to defend the MoD budget for the Financial Year 2023/24.
The CS told the Committee chaired by Belgut Member of Parliament Hon. Nelson Koech that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has continued to undertake it’s core mandate within it’s budget and at the same time collaborated with other agencies whenever called upon.
He said the Ministry has a tradition of being cost-effective and doing projects within the shortest time possible, saying the Ministry remains committed to undertaking government projects in support of civil authorities.
“We constructed Ulinzi Complex in record 18 months. Uhuru Gardens, which we supervised it’s construction shall be handed over by December this year. We are supervising the construction of Embu Stadium, which shall host this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations. We shall be ready to supervise any project which we shall do with military precision within the shortest time possible and without wastage of resources,” the CS reiterated.
On the planned drawdown from Somalia, the CS said that Kenya through the KDF has ensured the safety of her borders by constructing 14 fully equipped Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) along the Kenya-Somalia border.
“We are fully committed that when the drawdown from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) comes, we are secure as a country by ensuring that when Al-Shabaab feel the heat of the Somalia Security Forces they don’t come to find refuge in Kenya. Our military has a conspicuous presence along the borderline to ensure that Kenyans are secure,” said the CS.
Hon. Duale told the Committee that MoD leadership is doing an analysis to see whether it’s viable to make the Semi Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAS) domiciled in the Ministry independent government parastatals
“The Ministry has three SAGAS and are chaired by the sitting Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) and Service Commanders. In the next 60 days, we shall have a mechanism to see whether they shall be independent SAGAS with their own budget to ensure that none of our Generals face litigation,” Hon. Duale said.
The CS was accompanied by Principal Secretary Mr. Patrick Mariru, Director of the Defence National Security Industries (DNSI) Major General Bernard Waliaula, Senior Chief Finance Officer (SCFO) Mr. Joseph Mutuma, Chief of Finance, Chief of Legal Services, Chief of Systems, among other senior officials.