Kenya: President Ruto urges KDF to take the lead on human security
Nairobi— President William Ruto has urged the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) to take the lead in addressing the human security needs of citizens such as food security and affordable housing.
He said the country must take steps towards self-sufficiency in simple defense items, clothing and food.
Dr Ruto noted that an appropriate degree of military industrialization has spurred the growth of civilian industry in other jurisdictions, saying Kenya should follow international best practice to achieve “that desired self-sufficiency”.
The president made the remarks on Friday when he presided over this year’s KDF day, held at Laikipia airbase.
It was his first such event with the military since taking office last month.
The Army was marking its 11th KDF Day, the theme of which was “Soldier-Centric Approaches Towards the Upscaling of Mission Readiness,” an annual celebration of the bravery and gallantry of KDF heroes.
He commended KDF for undertaking activities in support of other state agencies in disaster response, humanitarian support and inter-community peacebuilding.
“This is another chance for our forces to put into practice their magnificent tradition of brilliantly articulating our values,” President Ruto said.
The Head of State said that military participation at the heart of efforts to solve human problems and meet the needs of citizens strengthens their ability to touch the hearts and encourage the people.
Dr Ruto said that apart from their security role, the Kenyan Armed Forces should also be more involved in activities such as infrastructure development and rehabilitation, as well as providing assistance to communities affected by natural calamities.
President Ruto said it was encouraging that the military continues to explore ways to lend a hand to the broader national effort.
“The broader national roles of public service, including the defense force, should find strong expression in the work that our valiant men and women in uniform undertake,” Dr Ruto said.
Dr Ruto said Kenya’s territorial sovereignty rests with the defense forces, noting that its members must be prepared for all demands with the necessary tools, capabilities and motivation.
“The tip of the nation’s spear has always been and always will be our troops, whether on land, in the air or at sea,” President Ruto said.
Chief of Defense Force Robert Kibochi said the Kenya Defense Force was involved in community projects including the construction of water ponds and boreholes in Baringo and Marsabit counties.
He said that the KDF through the program of the soldiers participate in the conservation of the environment in terms of reforestation.
“We will continue to engage in development programs aimed at transforming the lives of Kenyans in different parts of the country,” Dr Kibochi said.
In attendance were Vice President Rigathi Gachagua, CS Defense Eugene Wamalwa, CS Defense candidate Aden Duale, Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu, several MPs and all duty commanders.