, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 29 – The Ministry of Defence has denied reports that President Uhuru Kenyatta secretly extended Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, Julius Karangi’s term in office.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said there was no need for President Kenyatta to extend Karangi’s term in office as it ends in 2015 and he is yet to reach the retirement age of 64.
“At present General Karangi has neither attained the age of 64 nor completed four years of service since his appointment on July 13, 2011. He is not due to retire this month. The question of extending his ‘alleged’ contract does not therefore arise,” she clarified in a statement sent from State House Nairobi on Sunday.
She went on to demand a retraction from a local daily that had as its headline on Sunday, “Uhuru secretly hands Karangi another term.”
“The Ministry of Defence demands an immediate retraction of this careless and erroneous article from the Nation Media Group which must be given the same prominence as the original article,” she demanded.
She accused the daily of not substantiating the story before going to press and thereby, “aimed to cause embarrassment and to cast aspersions on the judgment and actions of the President and Commander-in-Chief, and the Defence Council.”
She also said that it risked causing, “discontent within the rank and file of the Kenya Defence Forces.”
It is not the first time the Sunday Nation has locked horns with the Jubilee government with their headline, “Ruto’s luxury jet hire to cost Sh100m,” causing quite a stir in May.
The daily however stuck to its guns in that case and investigations by the office of the Auditor General went on to prove that there had indeed been irregularities in the procurement process.
It is however yet unclear what the daily’s response to the Ministry of Defence’s demand for an apology will be but it is clear General Karangi will not be moving from the limelight any time soon.
Karangi and his men have been under the microscope since they entered Somalia in 2011 and more recently during the four-day Westgate mall siege that saw them come under attack for their handling of the situation.