Latest news in town is that Kenya has signed a Sh. 9.8 billion (approx. $98 million) deal with Katmerciler, a Turkish armored vehicles manufacturer. The 118 armored vehicles are meant to boost the war against terrorism, particularly that involving Al-Shabaab, domiciled in Somalia.
Just this year, the president launched a small arms factory close to Nairobi.
I’m simply wondering if there’s anything to be worried about with this new arms race. Who are we arming ourselves against? What are we arming ourselves for? Especially in the middle of a pandemic? Noting the government’s use of military terminology when referring to the COVID19 response, isn’t the current relevant war/battle against said disease? As well as other diseases that threaten the health and safety of many Kenyans?
In fact, mental health is turning out to be quite the big killer itself. Discounting the increased number of homicides, this same week brought news that over 400 Kenyans had committed suicide over the past 3 months.
Remember that next year is an election year in Kenya. There’s already so much talk about postponing elections. The African Court on Human and People’s Rights already gave a nod to African countries that felt such need owing to the pressures brought about by COVID.