17 April 2012, KENYA- Nairobi

Bunge la Mwananchi/Wanjiku Revolution/Baraza la Taifa

We the people of Kenya under the banner of Bunge la Mwananchi, Wanjiku Revolution, Baraza la Taifa and CBOs from across the country congregated in the capital to present to the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the National Assembly our petition regarding military expenditure. On 17th April every year the world marks the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Here in Kenya we have come together to mark the event. The event is critical for Kenya given the on going Operation Linda Nchi in which millions are being spent at the expense of the basic needs for Kenyans.

It is worth noting that Africa as a whole experienced a large increase in military expenditures last year. Although Kenya showed a modest decrease in 2010 it is expected to rise due to the Somalia Incursion. We also note with concern that in the budget estimates presented by the finance minister, an estimated 45 billion Kenya shillings is expected to be spent on operation Linda Nchi.

We therefore asked politicians to:

1) Immediately withdraw Kenyan forces in Somalia and embark on policing our borders as attacks have continued despite the KDF’s presence in Somalia pointing to a failed policy.

2) Drastically reduce the amount spent on military ware and related expenses and channel the funds to provision of basic needs.

3) Beef security to ordinary Kenyans who have constantly suffered should there be any attack.

4) Come out clean on how the tenders to supply material were awarded to allay our fears that the Somalia incursion is used to benefit some unscrupulous businesspeople.

See press coverage of the event, as well as more information about East African military spending here.