Purchase Of Jordanian Fighter Jets Stinks Of High Corruption
The dictatorial government of Kenya under Mwai Kibaki has sent its top military officers to Amman, Jordan to negotiate the purchase of old and dilapidated F-5 Fighter jets. The whole project stinks of corruption and has the hall-marks of previous and dirty scams linked to suspicious purchases and contracts by the failing Kibaki government.
To begin with, Jordan does not manufacture advanced military Aircrafts of the F-5 type. In fact, Jordan is one of the poorest countries in the middle-east whose economy is very unstable. We know that the F-5 Aircrafts are manufactured by Northrop (BAE), a company owned by Americans. A curious question that emerges immediately when the F-5 contract is examined closely is why the Kenyan government does not want to buy the Aircrafts directly from Northrop, choosing instead to purchase them from the Jordanian Royal Air Force. The truth is that Jordan has upgraded its military equipment and is seeking to dump old Aircrafts. Under the circumstances, Kenya is a better dumping ground.
The advantage for the Jordanians is that Kenya has unpatriotic Military Generals mainly drawn from one ethnic group and whose major decisions are influenced by the possibility of corruption. The Kibaki regime is facing elections and the regime needs money to buy and destroy votes in oppositiion strongholds ahead of the coming elections in December. The F-5 Fighter jet project is a clear strategy by the Kibaki dictatorship to defraud the tax payer which will foot the bill at Ksh 2.4 billion.
At the moment, arming the military using such a colossal amount of money should not be a priority for the Kibaki dictatorship especially at a time when Kenyans are starving to death and millions are losing their lives due to lack of basic medicine to treat curable diseases like malaria. Poverty, malnutrition, high death rate and dropping life expectancy are more urgent issues that require urgent funding. The purchase of second hand military equipment at a time when Kenya is not at war is not and should not be a priority.
In Kenya, majority of Kenyans live in slums. The country has become a “tourist attraction” because it has one of the largest slums in the world. This year, more than 300,000 children missed class one because of lack of schools, teachers and basic equipment such as books, desks, blackboards, dusters, chalks etc. To embark on a Ksh 2.4 billion project when there are other urgent areas that deserve economic input is a demonstration of lack of sensitivity and fore-sight on the part of the government. We believe that the main driving force that has blinded the Kibaki regime when it comes to sound investment of tax payer’s money is corruption. It is in this light that the F-5 Fighter jet project needs to be seen.
Apart from bringing the issue to public attention, we call upon patriotic and progressive MPs like Honourable Mwandawiro Mghanga to take up the issue in Parliament. MPs who claim to be the people’s watch dogs should resist this scandal of purchasing second hand Air crafts because under the current crisis, expensive war machines should take a back seat in the country’s priorities.
We condemn the Kabaki’s regime and his corrupt military generals who are more interested in stealing from public coffers in the name of arming the country. The project is a conspiracy between the Kibaki government and the Kings of both Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The agenda is to defraud the Kenyan people of Ksh 2.4 billion. This must not be allowed to happen.
Since independence from Britain, Kenyan armed forces have been spending billions of dollars in military equipment from the West. Today, most of these machines cannot be used because they are either worn out or decrepit.
For example, Strike master jets and Attack planes, Hawkerhunters, Hawks, Caribou, Buffalos, Donniers, F-5 Phantoms, Puma helicopters, Hughes helicopters, Bulldogs, Chimpmunks,Gazelles, Beavers and Harbin Y-12 that were purchased after independence are unusable because they were equipment that were dumped in the country after they became obsolete.
These aircrafts have cost Kenyan tax payer millions of Kenyan shillings in maintenance even though their ability to be used in a modern war-fare is not just questionable but also reduced as a result of advancement in technology. Although they have never been used in war, they are routinely used in military parades and other funny manoeuvres to frighten the public, to create the impression that Kenya is “well armed” and to please the Commander in Chief, President Mwai Kibaki whom, nevertheless, sleeps for sixteen hours a day at State House. The same case applies to military machines owned by the Kenyan navy and the Kenya army.
We would like to remind Kenyan tax payers that our military establishment cannot repair the mighty and old war machines being accumulated by a regime that, from our view, will lose power in December. Already, military equipment like helicopters are being transported to South Africa for repair because our military engineers and technicians are sleeping in the barracks because corruption has permeated the maintenance industry within the Kenya military establishment. If they are not sleeping in the barracks, Kenyan military engineers will be found lazing around at bogus seminars around the world presenting papers.
We wish to add that the Military generals have failed their soldiers in fighting for higher wages and accommodation because men and women in uniform sleep in tents and old British colonial military barracks that are dilapidated.
We propose Ksh.2.4 billions to be used in uplifting Soldiers salaries, accommodation and insurance. To use the money on old aircrafts which Kenya will never use and which the military has no capacity to maintain is a flagrant waste of public resources.
This project is yet another indication that the Kibaki government should suffer a huge and humiliating defeat in the December elections. The degree of corruption we are witnessing today is simply a continuation from where Moi left it and this is another important point which Kenyan voters should note as election campaigns continue.
Martin Ngatia and Munala Wa Munala