Tuesday, February 21, 2023 – President William Ruto’s move to deploy the military in the bandit-affected regions in the North of the Rift Valley, sparked mixed reactions, with many questioning its legality.
However, speaking during an interview yesterday, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Gladys Boss Shollei blamed former President Uhuru Kenyatta for Ruto’s decision to deploy the military to North Rift.
“Under the Uhuru regime, the police airwing was moved to the military. As we speak, the police have no airwing of their own such that when they go to such operations in bandit areas, they are not able to send air support,” she revealed.
According to Shollei, the army deployment would require the approval of the Parliament but in the context of the North Rift operation, the military had been sent to support the National Police Service (NPS).
Countering her statement, Kisii Senator Richard Onyonka together with his Makueni counterpart Dan Maanzo stated that President Ruto required the National Assembly’s (NA) approval to okay the deployment.
“President Ruto needs to admit that he might not have known that permission must be sought from NA before deploying the military.”
“It’s illegal and unconstitutional. The President should take responsibility. It’s good to accept and correct for the future, Onyonka stated.
Uhuru on September 2020, issued an Executive Order that would have crews in all government aircraft report to the Kenya Air Force Commander.
In the order, all aircraft owned by the National Police Service (NPS), Kenya Power, Kenya Forest Services (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) and other State agencies would be managed by the Kenya Air Force.
The Kenya Air Force, which is under the command of Major General Francis Ogolla, runs utility helicopters.
During Kenyatta’s term as Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, military men were handed key civilian responsibilities in state institutions.
One of the most notable shifts was the appointment of Major General Mohammed Badi to head the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).
In the same breath, the Kenya Meat Commission was transferred to the Ministry of Defence where Brigadier James N Githaga saw a turnaround of fortunes in the then loss-making entity.
The Kenyan DAILY POST