President defends his choice of top military officers for crucial jobs
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterdaay defended his appointment of people with military background to key civilian positions, saying he was seeking suitable people for the jobs.
Instead, the president - who jetted into the country on Monday night - castigated those who are in opposition to his use of military officers.
“The other day some people went to court claiming that I am in the process of militarising the country.
I have no such intention. It’s only a fool who cannot utilise the expertise that’s our disposal at almost cost-free,” said the president.
He was speaking at the City County Garage on Dar es Saalam Road in Industrial Area where he flagged off 87 trucks and light vehicles for the ongoing city regeneration programme under the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).
Members of the Kenya Defence Forces repaired the trucks, which were initially slated to be sold on as scrap metal.
The NMS is headed by Maj-Gen Mohamed Badi.
He said his main objective is to achieve what he promised Kenyans, and was keen to tap appropriate talent for the task, including from the military.
“The best way to actualise this is through use of the available expertise at the country’s military, which is almost free.
We are using Kenyan expertise and technique at our disposal,” the president said expressing shock that close to 100 vehicles that had been earmarked for sale as scrap metal could only cost Sh22 million for repair.
“About three months ago when we visited this garage, we were told by those we found here that for 8-9 years the vehicles that had stalled in the yard, were earmarked for sale as scrap metal.
I went and consulted the KDF who sent their best mechanics to assess the vehicles, after a few weeks I returned and was told they can be repaired,” he said pointing out that these were the vehicles he was flagging off.
“We were also told that the only way was to sell the vehicles as scrap metal, because that had been the norm, he noted praising the military men for the excellent work they had done.”
“Hongera KDF...hongera KDF...hongera hongera- (thank you our military men, thank you so much),” the president said.
He said the military is also being used to map out the country’s earth resources using the latest technology.
“Very soon we will demonstrate to those who go around mudslinging us that we are focused on delivering for this country, through our military men,” he added.
He said the full completion of the Nairobi to Nanyuki railway line is one of such projects. “Soon we are starting the construction of Eldoret to Kisumu using the available expertise in the country,” he said.
He flagged off 21 tippers for environment Al purposes, 20 fire engines, six ambulances, three hydraulic platforms for street lighting programme; two street scarab sweepers, two graders, one back home loaders, one wheel loader, one pneumatic roller, two water bowsers, one farm tractor and 19 light vehicles.
The president said in the next two months 80 more vehicles will be repaired.
Badi said his office immediately embarked on the tasks assigned on March 18, this year when he took over most of the functions at the County of Nairobi.
“We have employed 22 retired KDF mechanics to do this job, and we are going to hire 50 drivers to manage the repaired vehicles,” he added.