Mabati Pick-Ups Passed for “Armoured Cars” and Kills KDF Soldiers
In a new scandal that has exploded in the Jubilee territory, mabati pickps were packaged as armoured vehicles at a cost of Ksh 1.1 billion. The Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles were bought for the National Police Force by the Jubilee government which touted them as the ultimate answer to the Al-Shabbab menace.
The alarm came on Wednesday, 31st May 2017 when the APCs were put to test. Seven police officers were packed into one vehicle then dispatched to deal with Al-Shabbab terrorists in Lamu county.
The chase appeared to have been going well but as the team was cruising between Bure and Milimani in Lamu, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that had been planted beside the road by the terrorists went off, blowing the APC into the air and destroying it to smithereens.
Naturally, no one could have survived the blast and all seven officers lost their lives in the ensuing fireball. Last year, the government acquired 30 Chinese-built VN-4 type APCs which were then attached to the General Service Unit.
Additionally, a fleet of CS/VP3 type MRP vehicles was purchased and despatched to the Rural Border Patrol Unit of the Administration Police.
What is pathetic is that after the Officers lost their lives, military reinforcements were scambed to the scene immediately but their APC was also blown into pieces along the way instantly killing two soldiers. Nine Kenyan families went into mourning.
According to Poly Technologies, a Chinese company which manufactures the MRAPS, the vehicle ought to be able to withstand an explosion of up to 8kg TNT all around its hull and an additional 16kg of TNT under each wheel. This did not happen and soldiers and policemen who believed in the ability of the vehicles to protect them in the event of a blast all perished.
The fundamental question which emerges is: what really did happen? The immediate answer is that the vehicles purchased by the Jubilee government are either sub-standard or out rightly bogus. They could actually be “mabati-pick-ups” converted into “armoured vehicle” then sold to Kenya under a secretive deal only known to the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Internal Security and Office of President.
For now, and two months ahead of election, it will remain impossible for anyone to know the level of corruption that was involved in the purchase of the bogus vehicles until NASA takes over power in August.
In the meantime, any police officer or soldier stepping into the vehicles expecting protection from Al-Shabbab-made Improvised Explosive Devices is on their own, exposed and unlikely to return even before reaching the terrorists.
While the intention was nobble in the sense that the vehicles were purchased to help fight the terrorists, Al-Shabbab seem to be winning the war because they are succeeding in killing Kenyan police and military officers before these forces can even reach them. It’s the perfect war strategy and with a dumb government being led by a lame-duck president and a clueless Deputy President, Kenya’s war on terrorism is already doomed. Jubilee must be sent home in August so that NASA can make the country great again.