NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 18 – US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec has clarified that Kenya has not yet signed the Sh43 billon weapons deal that includes the purchase of war planes from an American contractor.
In a statement, Godec indicated that the process of purchase which is currently underway is transparent, open and is in keeping with appropriate laws and regulations.
He explained that the US military sales process requires notification of the US Congress and allows oversight committees and commercial competitors the opportunity to review the entire package before it is offered to a potential buyer.
“The public discussion around the potential purchase of AT802-L “Air Tractor” aircraft underscores the transparency and accountability of the US,” he stated.
He said that following the approval of the US Congress, the Kenyan Ministry of Defence will receive a document that will clearly describe each item to be purchased
“The Foreign Military Sales program is one way the US Government works closely with the Kenyan Government to provide a wide range of security assistance to the Kenyan military and law enforcement units,” he stated.
He expressed the US Government’s commitment to stand with Kenya in the fight against terrorism.
“The US Government is currently working with the Government of Kenya on the purchase of aircraft to strengthen the Kenya Defence Forces in their fight against Al-Shabaab,” he stated.
“As one measure of our support, the United States has provided over $150 million in equipment and assistance to the Kenyan military in the past year alone.”
He observed that if concluded, the Kenyan Government would purchase not just aircraft, but training, spare parts, ammunition, and weapons systems.
Godec’s statement came even as US congressman Ted Budd sought to stop the deal arguing that the contractor has never produced airplanes of this type and would cost an extra 29 billion compared to other companies.
Budd stated that the resolution introduced in the House will give Congress time to look into these troubling allegations.
He emphasised the need to ensure that Kenya which he describes as a long-time ally is getting a fair deal.
The US State Department had approved the possible sale, to the Kenya Defence Forces a weapons package that includes technical support and programme management of the 12 Air Tractor aircrafts and the two training crafts.