KDF Amendment Bill 2015 Unconstitutional

The proposed law contravenes provisions of the constitution that require public participation in national affairs, a culture of openness and subordination of the military to civilian oversight.

The Coalition for Constitution Implementation (CCI) in conjunction with the Global Campaign for Military Spending – Africa (GCOMS-Africa) calls for the withdrawal of the Kenya Defense Forces Amendment Bill 2015 as it is unconstitutional and also an attempt to militarize the state ahead of the 2017 polls.

The proposal of the bill that bars members of the public and lawmakers from scrutinizing the budgetary allocations and military spending contravenes the Article 201 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 (Principles of Public Finance) that states that there shall be openness and accountability, including public participation in financial matters, and also contravenes Article 239 (5) that states that the national security organs are subordinate to the civilian authority.

It is also worrying that the bill proposes KDF to hold a separate account from that of the Ministry of Defense, setting pace for corruption and misuse of resources as in the past increased military allocations have not translated to increased security and safety pointing to possibilities of massive graft in the sector.

The proposed abolishment of the requirement for the KDF to advertise slots per counties contravenes the constitutional requirement of Article 241 (4) that states that the composition of the command of the KDF shall reflect regional and ethnic diversity of the people of Kenya and makes a possibility of KDF being dominated by specific ethnic communities.

The bill is also likely to lead to misuse of KDF trainees as it proposes that the government should not be held to account as regarding compensation to families of KDF personnel who suffer disabilities or death while undergoing training, meaning that the trainees could be used in risky operations without care as government will not be compelled to compensate their relations in case of death or injury during training.

CCI and GCOMS – Africa shall petition the National Assembly and present views to the committee of parliament concerned.

CCI Steering Committee

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