Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale has called on Parliament to approve regulations that seek to establish a Sh7 billion peace support operations fund to aid operations of the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF).
If approved, this will see KDF receive reimbursements in line with the peace support operations from the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU).
Duale who appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Delegated Legislation, explained that if given the green-light, the fund shall consist of Sh1 billion appropriated by the National Assembly and another Sh6 billion as reimbursement from peace support operations for government provision of contingent owned equipment, assets and services -excluding personal reimbursements.
The Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga-led committee also heard that operationalisation of the multi-billion fund would allow the military to facilitate research and maintain equipment.
“The fund shall also support force generation and force posture of our Defence Forces and thereby enhance our units to attain appropriate levels at the United Nations peacekeeping capability,” said Duale.
The CS further called on the House team to consent to a provision that would allow the funds be directly channeled to the Ministry of Defense – and not disbursed through the National Treasury- to ensure that only the military can utilise the funds. This, he said, would allow the servicemen to constantly improve on the quality of its equipment.
Duale was concerned that despite Kenya being consistent in peace keeping missions globally, its forces were inadequately funded to conduct international operations compared to other countries.
“I want to tell this committee that peacekeeping is a business and we should be able to benefit from this business…as a ministry we want these regulations passed so we can directly get the Sh6 billion as reimbursements from the AU and UN. We do not want the funds to go through the National Treasury which might decide to channel it to other ministries,” he said.
He further implored the House team to ensure the operationalization of the fund to allow the government to have a contingency plan for emergencies and ensure it was independent.
The committee however sought to know how the administration and review of expenditure would be done, the time frame and the frequency of the administration of the funds.
“The fund will be reviewed after ten years and members should know that the Sh7 billion is going to be used as seed capital to commence its operations,” added Duale.
The CS further moved to assure the committee that once approved, he would ensure the practical use of the funds and would rally his ministry to account for every shilling.
To achieve this, he said, he would appoint the Defense Principle Secretary as the administrator of the fund and see to it that in accordance with the regulations before the House team, the administrative costs should not be more than three percent of the approved budget each financial year.
According to documents seen by The Standard, the monies received from the peace support operations fund will go towards setting up training facilities and infrastructure development. The fund will also facilitate the establishment of equipment parks, acquisition and maintenance of contingent owned equipment and other assets, enhancement of units to attain appropriate levels at the UN peacekeeping ability readiness system.
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It will also fund capacity building programmes including force generation and force projection activities.