A silent tussle in the Kenya Defense Forces is pitting Defense Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo against serving soldiers in what Kahawa Tungu has learnt has been a simmering row over Omamo’s incompetence as the civilian head of the military apart from President Uhuru.
Chief of the General Staff, General Samson Mwathathe is said to have a very strained relationship with the CS.
Soldiers claim Omamo did not show the kind of support they expected when a number of them died in gruesome Al Shabaab attack in Somalia, with many military families now resigned to poverty and neglect. The soldiers also accuse the CS of too much drinking, which mostly coincides with moments when the military needs her word or advice to proceed with decision-making.
However, some believe the soldiers’ problem with Omamo is her being an ‘outsider’, with the fear that even her can leak critical defense decisions. KDF top military ranks are heavily populated by members of one ethnic group.
Under Omamo, some say there has been resistant to certain purges from the military directed at members of certain ethnic communities. The CS is said to have declined at least five key changes which would have affected senior military officials, thus causing the current strained relationship.
Meanwhile, the CS has termed as ‘fake’ a document associated with KDF that revealed deployment of officers based on ethnic correctness.