A section of the US congress members have asked Kenya to reconsider the planned Sh43 billion US arms deal, saying the country is getting a raw deal.
The five members of congress, who wrote a letter to Kenya’s ambassador to Washington, Robinson Njeru Githae, has questioned the propriety of the acquisition and capabilities of the firm involved to deliver what Kenya is paying for, saying that by exploring more options and dealing with a far more experienced firm, the country would acquire the aircraft needed for over Sh 20 billion less.
“Spending sh43 billion of Kenyan national funds on aircraft that could be acquired for over sh20 billion less from a company that has years of past performance and an existing production line is not an optimal allocation of scarce defence dollars,” the letter from the congressmen to Ambassador Githae read in part.
The five Congressmen include; Ted Budd, Sanford Bishop, an African-American Democrat, and three Republicans: Walter Jones, Jeff Duncan and Mark Meadows.
The government had recently announced plans to purchase military aircraft and weapons from the United States to aid in its war against Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Among the packages are twelve Air Tractor AT- 802L converted cropdusters, two AT-504 trainer aircraft and some weapons
The closure of the sale agreement of the military equipment has however been pending final approval by the U.S. Congress as stipulated by law.
Last week, Congressmen Ted Budd tabled a motion in the Congress seeking to halt the deal, saying that his office had received credible allegations of “faulty contracting practices, fraud and unfair treatment surrounding the sale,”
US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec has however said that Kenya is yet to sign the deal with the US and that the process is underway.
“Contrary to some allegations in the media, the government of Kenya has not signed any agreement to purchase aircraft from the United States and the process under way is transparent, open, and proper.