|President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief of Defence Forces Julius Karangi (right) during Kenya Navy Golden Jubileee celebrations at the Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa. (Photo:PSCU)|
President Uhuru Kenyatta Monday directed the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to start buying maize from farmers.
Speaking during Kenya Navy Golden Jubileee celebrations at the Mtongwe Naval Base in Mombasa County, the President also urged millers to reciprocate government's reduction of power tariffs by lowering prices of maize flour.
"I have today directed the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to open its godowns and buy maize from farmers so as to avoid exploitation by middlemen," said Uhuru.
The Head of State, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Force (KDF), commended the Kenya Navy for being proactive in protecting the country's maritime borders against external intrusion and threats posed to maritime transport by pirates.
He particularly praised the Kenya Navy for having deployed the amphibious tactics that enabled KDF capture the port city of Somalia during the Operation Sledge Hammer.
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"This was a first in Africa as the amphibious landing operation on the beaches of Kismayu led to the successful capture of this port city," Uhuru said.
He noted that the Kenya Navy was instrumental in the fight against piracy and drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean.
He added that the Kenya Navy has been instrumental in assisting communities during natural calamities and disasters during the El nino floods.
During the celebrations, Uhuru who was clad in full military uniform, officiated his first fleet review of the Kenya Navy as the Commander-in-Chief.
The President who arrived at the naval base aboard a military chopper was received by Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi and Kenya Navy Commander Ngewa Mukala.
A 21-gun salute reverberated through the naval base before a colourful air display by the Kenya Airforce figher jets and helicopter with a banner reading Hongera Kenya Navy @ 50.
The fleet review included a sail-past of key naval vessels and boats used in sea operations.
The vessels included Kenya's latest naval ship acquisition, KNS Jasiri, an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) that served as the command centre during the Operation Sledge Hammer operation.
In the naval tradition, a fleet review is conducted every 10 years to assess progress it has made over that duration of time.
The celebrations brought together several serving and former military chiefs.
Among the former military officers included the second indigenous Kenyan to command the Kenya Navy Major-General (rtd) Eliud Simeon Mbilu, former Chief of Staff General (rtd) Joseph Raymond Kibwana, Major General (rtd) Aboud Rafrouf and General (rtd) Daniel Opande.
Other dignitaries present were cabinet secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Defence), Najib Balala (Mining), Hassan Wario (Youth and Sports), Jacob Kaimenyi (Education) and Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho.
Also present was Interior Cabinet Secretary nominee Major General (rtd) Joseph Nkaissery.
On arrival at the naval base the president led military in unveiling a commemorative plaque in honour of fallen heroes.
Uhuru awarded former and serving military officers with presidential honours.
He also launched the naval history book titled "Kenya Navy: A 50-year Voyage".