Top Stories / National
Monday, 27 Feb 2017 14:57 EAT
Opposition leaders today turned the spotlight on the controversial procurement by the military of aeroplanes and other weapons worth over Sh43 billion from the United States, for which some American Congressmen have said Kenyan taxpayers are being ripped off.
Ahead of the opposition's rally in Meru, Wiper Party leader and NASA principal Kalonzo Musyoka hit at the Jubilee government over the deal of 12 aircraft and other weaponry which the U.S. Department of State has approved. He said the government should come clean on the deal, warning that Kenya’s military should not be a dumping ground for obsolete military ware from the West.
"Jubilee must come clean on the Sh43 billion planes deal with the USA. Our military must not be a dumping ground for obsolete military ware from the West. A few years ago, our Navy received a fishing boat from Spain that was converted into a patrol ship. Kenya is not a dumping ground! Period!!!” he told a press conference at Wilson Airport, shortly before flying to Meru.
Mr Musyoka’s statement comes in the heels of reports about five members of the U.S. Congress urging the Kenyan government to reconsider the proposed purchase of the 12 armed aircraft and related elements intended for use in Somalia against Al-Shabaab. The four Republicans and one Democratic lawmakers suggested on Tuesday last week in a letter to Kenya's ambassador to Washington that the potential deal was a bad one for Kenya.
The lawmakers told Ambassador Robinson Njeru Githae that they “have reason to question the propriety of the acquisition.” The lawmakers urged other members of the U.S.Congress to block the transaction. They are also calling on Congress to investigate the circumstances surrounding Kenya's pending agreement to buy a dozen armed Air Tractor AT-802 aircraft, two trainer planes and technical support and programme management services from L3 Technologies.
Mr Musyoka on his part said there is no urgency to invest in weapons of war; instead, there is a greater urgency to invest in food security, safety of Kenyans in their homes and a decent pay for our striking doctors and lecturers. He claimed that the Jubilee government has lost the moral authority to govern this country regretting that innocent Kenyans including women, children and other most vulnerable groups in society are perishing from disease, famine and at the hands of merchants of death.
“This has become both a national and international shame! The public healthcare system has been completely paralysed and the government is unable to negotiate an end to death and suffering of millions of Kenyans. Both the government and the doctors union must strike a patriotic accord and do whatever is necessary to end this strike without further delay.
"It is high time we embrace patriotism for the sake of our people and the lives of our dear ones. Let us put Kenya first and save our nation from going further down the abyss of destruction”, he said.
The former vice president also addressed the drought ravaging the country’s 23 counties which the government has declared a National Disaster and warned that a government that cannot feed her people has no business being in power.