Ksh.9 bn on the balance as Parliament threatens to end Kenya-UK military pact over Wanjiru’s murder
Legislators have threatened to shoot down a military cooperation deal between Kenya and the UK until British soldiers involved in the murder of Agnes Wanjiru in Nanyuki are brought to justice.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa pleaded with the MPs to ratify the military pact after the existing agreement lapsed in October this year.
He said the new military cooperation with the UK is in the interest of Kenya.
The parliamentary Defence and Foreign Relations Committee has threatened to halt the ratification of the memorandum of understanding with the United Kingdom until the murder of the 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiku is resolved.
Saboti MP Caleb Amisi posed a claim of concern that the government should be more concerned with the lives of Kenyans than its relations with other foreign countries.
“We put more emphasis on national interest than other individual interests,” he said.
If legislators follow through with their threats, they risk losing the fight against terrorism in the region.
The UK troops in Kenya help in training more than 1,100 Kenyan soldiers every year before they are deployed to the African Union Mission in Somalia against Al-Shabaab.
closing the agreement also means Kenya stands to lose Ksh.9 billion, a part of defence pact that the UK renewed in July this year to allow its troops to continue training at Nanyuki.
The new Defence Co-operation Agreement (DCA) was signed in London by the then Defence secretary Monica Juma, and her UK counterpart Ben Wallace on the sidelines of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s three-day official tour to the country.
The agreement is supposed to take effect after ratification by both the UK and Kenya parliaments.
The multibillion training pact between the two was last renewed in 2015 and has in the past been dogged by allegation of gross human rights violation by British troops.