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US Congressman seeks to stop Sh43bn weapons deal with Kenya

According to House Representative Ted Budd, the contractor has never produced airplanes of this type and would cost an extra Sh29 billion compared to other companies/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – A US congressman is seeking to stop Kenya’s pending Sh43 billon weapons deal that includes the purchase of warplanes from an American contractor.

According to House Representative Ted Budd, the contractor has never produced airplanes of this type and would cost an extra Sh29 billion compared to other companies.

Budd indicated that the resolution introduced in the House will give Congress time to look into “these troubling allegations.”

“My office has received credible allegations of faulty contracting practices, fraud, and unfair treatment surrounding this sale,” he revealed.

He further emphasised the need to ensure that Kenya – which he described as a longtime ally – gets a fair deal.

“Given that this proposed contract was decided without competition, to a company that has no experience or track record producing this kind of aircraft, and for a price that is more than double what a contractor in our district has quoted, further investigation is definitely in order,” he stated.

He noted that IOMAX, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business located in the 13th District is the only company that has exported weaponised border patrol aircraft from the United States.

He stated that in spite of this reality, the Air Force, along with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency awarded a $418 million sole-source contract to L-3, a $13 billion defense contractor, to fulfill Kenya’s request for 12 weaponised border patrol aircraft.

“IOMAX claims that it can fulfill the contract for $180 million, and it has 48 weaponized border patrol aircraft in service, as opposed to zero for L-3,” he said.

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The US State Department had also approved the sale on the grounds that it will not alter the military balance in the region or adversely impact the US defense readiness.

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