CS Duale Withstands Pressure to Disclose Number of KDF Soldiers and Army’s Sh135B Expenditure

March 20, 2024

Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale resisted efforts by a Parliamentary committee to determine how the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spent Ksh.135 billion and the number of personnel in the Kenyan army.

During his appearance before the National Assembly’s Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations on Tuesday, CS Duale stood his ground, declining to provide a breakdown of how KDF spent the billions in the 2022/2023 financial year.

Despite protests from the committee led by MP Nelson Koech, the CS remained adamant that disclosing such details posed a risk to national security.

“We want to know what an allocation of 1 year has done, where has the Ksh.135 billion been used? If it’s about modernization, tell us this is the equipment we bought and at how much…is there value for money?” Kinangop MP Thuku Kwenya posed during a heated session.

According to the report presented before the committee, KDF allocated Kes.98 billion for emoluments and salaries, and Kes.28 billion for operational costs of military bases, including food expenses.

Additionally, the forces allocated Kes.1.7 billion for maintenance of major parts and equipment, Kes.1 billion for civil aid, Kes.1 billion for border securitization, and another Kes.4 billion for the modernization of KDF equipment.

However, CS Duale was unwilling to provide further details on how the money was used, despite MPs demanding more transparency to prevent secrecy and potential misappropriation of funds.

CS Duale maintained that he could only divulge further information to the National Security Council, chaired by the Commander-In-Chief.

Number of KDF Soldiers

The Committee was particularly keen on obtaining additional clarification on the allocation of Kes.98 billion for salaries and allowances. Nonetheless, Duale resisted the pressure, reiterating that disclosing the number of army personnel in the country would jeopardize national security.

“I can’t go further than that, its salary and allowances that we pay to our security forces that will directly effect on the national security of our country, no country wants to share the number of their forces,” Duale stated.

“There is no Minister of Defence in Kenya who has ever disclosed the number of our army. I have never and will never disclose the number of our security personnel, the only place I can do that is in the National Security Council where the Commander-In-Chief is chairing.”

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