Kenyan Defence Forces(KDF) serving in Somalia under AMISOM have had their salaries slashed by half.
Just five months ago, we revealed here that KDF commandos were having it rough with their sponsors after an audit report exposed the existence of ‘ghost’ soldiers on the payroll.
Reports reaching us again indicate that now, the European Union (EU) and its partners have further cut by half the budget for KDF troops fighting Al-Shabaab militia in Somalia.
According to sources privy to these details, the EU has been informed of a secret partial withdrawal of Kenyan soldiers from Somalia and the same has not been addressed on the payroll.
While answering to Members of the August House, Treasury PS admitted that Kenya received Sh4.5 billion from African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) in the 12-month period to June 2019 against a target of Sh8.5 billion.
Our sources state that KDF soldiers have a secret pattern of deploying and secretly recalling soldiers from the active missions.
PwC audit in March exposed the inconsistencies in the number of active serving soldiers, soldier KIA(killed in action) and Soldiers MIA(missing in action) and the report recommended a cut after linking the inconsistencies to a secret partial withdrawal of Kenyan troops who were deployed to Somalia from 2007 to defend the internationally-backed government against attacks the Al-Shabaab.
When forced to explain the PwC report on ghost serving soldiers, Treasury PS admitted in Parliament that the cut was due to MIA soldiers.
“The amount was received was based on the number of actual troops deployed in Somalia. By July,2018, the number of troops was subsequently reduced,” Julius Muia, the Treasury principal secretary (PS) said without disclosing the actual figures.
The 28-nation EU, the largest contributor of funds to the Amisom through the African Peace Facility, has been supporting the AU mission’s programmes and activities.
The EU funds cater for allowances for the Amisom troops and police, international and local civilian staff salaries, operational costs of their offices, among others.
The United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), on the other hand, provides logistical field support to the Amisom troops and Somali National Security Forces during joint operations.
The international community pays $1,028 (Sh111, 229) for each soldier per month, their respective governments then deduct about $200 (Sh21,640) for administrative costs, leaving them with a take-home of about $800 (Sh86,560).
The soldiers receive their tax free funds through the government of Kenya.
An anonymous source tells this site that Kenyan troops are against leaving Somalia because of such and more secret missions below the African Union radar.
For the record, AU has been keen on all the troops withdrawing by December 2020, but Kenya wants a delayed exit.
AU and EU officials have raised questions on the ‘usefulness’ and impact of KDF presence along Somalia borders in the midst of most frequent millitia attacks reported in Norther part of Kenya.
Kenyan troops, have however maintained that Al Shabaab conducts frequent assaults in Kenya, mostly in the region bordering Somalia, to put pressure on the Kenyan government to withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Somalia.
Is there something that the Defense PS and Treasury PS are not telling Kenyans?
Are Kenyan soldiers overpowered and outmanned on our borders as the PwC report noted the existence of ghost soldiers?
While most of the military workloads are done in absolute Secrecy, it is the ministry of Defence duty to prove to the public that their safety is not compromised.
Why is Treasury PS Dr Muia and Defense PS Ibrahim Mohamed adamant about MIA soldiers on payroll yet none are accounted in frontlines?
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) needs to let Kenyans know why EU and AU have unanimously agreed to slash KDF reimbursements which are based on active deployment.
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