Kenya’s military budget hit Ksh109.7 billion, as compared to Ksh101.5 billion spent in 2017.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), the budget surpassed that of her East Africa peers, Tanzania and Uganda combined.
According to the independent global security think tank, Tanzania’s military spending last year was Ksh67.5 billion, while Uganda spent Ksh40.8 billion.
“Kenya’s military spending for last year really did not increase much as compared to its neighbours. For Uganda, the increase in Uganda could be related to equipment purchases in the past year, this is stated in the budget but exactly what it is spent on is unknown,” Dr Nan Tian, a researcher on Arms and Military Expenditure Programme at Sippri said as quoted by a local daily.
Kenya’s high military budget has been attributed to acquisition of new military equipment, for the fight against Al-shabaab militia in Somalia.Last year alone, Kenya ordered six aircraft for the armed forces, to be delivered this year.
This is despite receiving military aid from developed countries, amounting to billions.
““There has been equipment donated as aid or peace keeping operations given to Uganda and Kenya last year, with Kampala bagging five bell Huey helicopters worth Ksh40 billion. It also received the Bastion APC from France that was leased and financed by the US for AMISOM operations. In Kenya, there was also the Bell helicopters and AS-350 Fennec helicopters given as aid. These are likely to be used in the fight against Al- Shabaab,” Dr Tian said.
Last year, the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) received 12 Bastion Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) from the United States.
Despite receiving all this aid, KDF soldiers were reported to be secretly withdrawing from Somalia and moving towards the border of Kenya and Somalia.
South Sudan’s budget dropped to Ksh5.9 billion, from a high of Ksh100 billion in 2016.