Kenya – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday commissioned operational vehicles and engineering equipment refurbished by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) technical team.
Speaking during the launch at Thika Barracks in Kiambu County, President Kenyatta commended the KDF for its ingenuity and a high sense of civic duty.
“The team tasked with the restoration exercise has given life to what was thought dead, bringing back into operation equipment that had otherwise been written off,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State noted that the rehabilitation of the vehicles and engineering equipment has saved the Kenyan taxpayer billions of shillings as well as significantly enhanced KDF’s operational capabilities.
He said the engineering vehicles and equipment will also boost KDF’s ability to support civil and humanitarian activities across the country such as construction of dams, water pans, boreholes and roads particularly in arid and semi-arid regions.
“This is in keeping with my administration’s conceptualization of a military that not only guards our borders and secures our nation from external threats but also delivers strategic national interests for the benefit of the citizenry,” President Kenyatta said.
Acknowledging the partnership between KDF and the private sector in conceptualizing the procurement of the vehicles and equipment in the spirit of “Buy-Kenya-Build-Kenya”, the President applauded the Ministry of Defence, KDF and the private sector for supporting the manufacturing component of the Big 4 Agenda.
“Defence and security do not exist in isolation, a vibrant manufacturing base within the private sector provides the impetus for national self-reliance,” the President said.
President Kenyatta also praised military engineers and technicians who, within the multi-agency framework, have continued to prove themselves as efficient and reliable drivers of change.
He cited KDF’s role in the rehabilitation of key infrastructure including the Nairobi-Nanyuki railway line, Nakuru-Kisumu railway line as well as the refurbishment of vehicles and equipment for Nairobi City County.
“Further, the Kenya Navy engineers continue to enhance the capability of maritime related infrastructure and vessels,” the Head of State said.
To safeguard KDF’s achievements, President Kenyatta encouraged the military to embrace a culture where drivers of innovation are continually motivated.
The President, once again, assured that his administration will continue to provide support to KDF and other security agencies towards the attainment of the highest level of preparedness and mission readiness.
“We must never become complacent and rest on our laurels. Threats to the peace and security that we enjoy abound, and every day the enemies of our nation plot new ways to do us harm. Let us remain vigilant and ready to spring into action,” the President said.
He re-emphasized the significance of the multi-agency approach towards achieving Kenya’s national security objectives.
“The whole-of-government approach has demonstrated that pooling together allows us to achieve more through resource sharing and leveraging on each agency’s strengths and competencies,” he said.
Defence CS Dr Monica Juma and Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi also spoke at the event.