Oct 19, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Under Uhuru Kenyatta, KDF commercial interests grow

Within five years it has built an industrial complex that will earn it billions every year.

Previously known only for its weapons and boots, the military is expanding its strength in revenue-generating activities and is kicking it in the footsteps of its neighbors Kenya Shipyards Ltd, a shipbuilding company owned by the military. It is building a shipyard in Kisumu.

“The new shipyard will play a central role in the expansion of the port of Kisumu into a modern regional maritime hub. The Kisumu shipyard is KSL’s second facility, and more are under construction in Mombasa, ”says the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF). It adds that the company plans to build and develop the shipbuilding industry in Kenya.

The military is building a shipyard on the coast through its naval arm that will be used for planned maintenance, retrofitting, construction, repairs and remodeling of Ships for a fee for private companies. It also has a facility that enables the Navy to guide ships from the sea to land. The operation of ships was initially reserved for a department of the Kenya Ports Authority, which does this for a fee.

Kenya Meat Commission

The launch took place days after the military took over the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), which is expanding its growing industrial complex under President Kenyatta.

The redesigned KMC has started and aggressively marketed its meat and meat products.

“KMC was founded in the September 2020 transferred to the Ministry of Defense by order of the President. The transfer obliged KDF to restore infrastructure and develop an ambitious business plan to stimulate socio-economic growth and accelerate the achievement of food security, “says the KDF. In addition to KMC, the military also runs a vegetable and food factory to reduce dependence on grocery shopping by the public.

President Kenyatta opened the KDF food processing facility in Gilgil in October 2018. The factory, strategically tucked between Nyandarua and Nakuru counties, which are the region’s food baskets, aims to secure the military’s food and sell the surplus to the public. The military is already giving the public a taste of its food, including dehydrated vegetables, through targeted donations to schools and other communities.

In April, the military began becoming an arms exporter after completing an Sh4 billion small arms factory in Ruiru, Kiambu County.

President Kenyatta said the factory, with an annual production capacity of 12,000 assault rifles in one shift, is part of a broad national multi-agency strategy of the industry. The factory gets 60 percent of its input from local resources.

He said the weapons factory will reduce the cost of acquiring weapons for Kenya’s security agencies and create a sustainable industrial base for national security that will provide jobs for Kenyan people Youth offers.

“This groundbreaking initiative will enable us to lay the foundations for coping with the high costs of acquiring arms, free ourselves from the currently complex licensing procedures for foreign exports, and give Kenya more independence in the security sector procure. ” and flexibility, enabling Kenya to design and manufacture high quality weapons tailored to our unique needs and operating environments, ”said President Kenyatta.

KDF engineers have also been involved in major rehabilitation projects. In addition to refurbishing key infrastructure, including the Nairobi-Nanyuki and Nakuru-Kisumu railways, they were involved in upgrading vehicles and equipment for Nairobi County.

The military did not respond to our email request replied by the time we went to press about their increased involvement in business.

Read: President Kenyatta: Why I Give Major Government Projects to the Military

Also Read: Court Overturns President Kenyatta’s Transfer from KMC to Ministry of Defense

Abuse of Funds

Proponents of the move argue that the military’s forays into business are good for the country as it secures strategic assets and also makes Kenya’s defense more independent makes . However, the lack of clear reporting of how much military industries are consuming could also lead to corruption or misuse of public funds.

Kenya’s security budget is typically kept secret for national security reasons.

< In the new budget estimates to be read next week, the Department of Defense plans to start more revenue-generating activities after budget cuts that have had a minor impact on the security protocol.

In 2021/22 budget estimates the Ministry notes that it continues to face a number of new problems and challenges in fulfilling its mandate. These include the negative economic and national security effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, increased demand for KDF involvement in national development projects and humanitarian aid, disputes over sea borders, high costs for equipment and systems, pending bills and insufficient funding .

“Some of the measures the Ministry intends to take to address these challenges include setting up revenue-generating activities, improving the inter-agency approach to creating synergies,” reads the budget document. No specific revenue-generating activities are listed.

The Ministry of Defense, headed by Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, experienced a slight budget cut in the new fiscal year that starts in July, ending an almost steady increase in the The Ministry’s budgets compared to last year for the past decade.

The Ministry of Finance has allocated Sh 119.8 billion to the Ministry in the new fiscal year, compared to the Sh 122.3 billion it received in the current fiscal year. This is a cut of Sh 2.5 billion.

Some of the main activities that the Ministry will undertake for the new fiscal year are the transformation of KMC to optimal operating capacity, the operationalization of the National Aviation Services Department and the acquisition of new equipment and infrastructure development. The Mombasa and Kisumu shipyards are also expected to start up and operate, as well as complete construction of MV Jamhuri. In addition, the military is planning to develop an earth observation satellite in the new financial year to support national space management.

Core mission

The core mission of the Ministry of Defense is to secure the sovereignty of the Republic of Kenya. But it also participates in other activities, including the development and formulation of various policies and strategies, such as peacebuilding policy and defense industry policy.

Your budget is also used to ensure adequate troop levels through recruitment, training and equipment of his staff. In the past fiscal year, it also conducted successful inter-agency operations such as Operation Amani Boni, the rehabilitation of meter-gauge railway lines, responding to Covid-19, responding to intelligence and security threats, providing humanitarian aid, participating in peacekeeping operations, and validating and implementing the Kenyan space policy.

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