President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Kenya Defence Forces is playing a leading role in the efforts to speed up the pace of Kenya’s industrialisation.
The President said the country’s prosperity goes hand-in-hand with an environment of peace and security enabled by the KDF and sister agencies in the security and defence sectors.
He called upon the military to be direct drivers of Kenya’s prosperity by contributing to the national industrialization processes.
“I am pleased, in that regard, to note the efforts the Ministry of Defense is making to expand the current defence industrial production,” the Head of State said.
The President said the military’s involvement in industrialisation will not only boost Kenya’s capabilities with respect to security-related logistics but will also support other sectors of national growth while expanding the scope of skills and competencies across the entire economic landscape.
President Kenyatta spoke at the Recruits Training School in Eldoret where he presided over a recruits’ passing out parade.
The President said the KDF will continue playing its role in regional and international security with more vigour.
Kenya is currently vying for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council and hopes to get the backing of most nations.
The Head of State said he appreciates the role KDF has continued to play in securing Kenya within the framework of multi-agency operations.
Beyond Kenyan borders, the Kenyan military has been instrumental in the search for regional and global peace as part of the country’s contribution to a stable international environment.
The President said KDF will continue supporting the quest for peace and stabilization of Somalia under the auspices of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
“Not only does this bring peace, security and stability to a neighbouring state with which we share deep historic bonds; it also provides our nation with safety and security from terror groups and other asymmetrical threats,” the President said.
He said KDF will continue to carry on Kenya’s proud tradition of participation in United Nations peace keeping operations whenever called upon.
The President said Kenya has always stood shoulder-to-shoulder with all nations and peoples of the world, who adhere to the universal lrinciples of utmost respect for human rights, democracy and freedom.
“We shall never waver from that solemn commitment, and each graduand today should expect to be called upon to continue that tradition wherever the demands of keeping the peace may require,” he said.
The Head of State said KDF epitomises the very best attributes of Kenya as a nation, adding that they are a landmark of national unity and cohesion.
He said the government will continue investing to give Kenya’s men and women in uniform the best training and equipment necessary for the security challenges of the 21st century.
“It is also important to note that the 21st century defence landscape is one that requires our warriors to be better, stronger, more committed and more competent than ever before. I have the utmost confidence in the ability of the Kenya Defence Forces to rise up to these challenges,” the President said.
During the ceremony, the President presented awards to recruits who came out top in various fields. The best recruit all-round was Becky Juma, the second best recruit all-round was Paul Nduta and the third best recruit all-round was John Tsome. The Best recruit in combat marksmanship was Quintine Indeche.
Commandant of the Recruits Training School Brigadier Peter Njiru said the new soldiers will be deployed into various sections of the military.
The ceremony was attended by the military top brass led by Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Amb Raychelle Omamo and other senior government officials also attended the colourful ceremony.