By CYRUS OMBATI
As the new Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Julius Karangi will be charged with transforming the armed forces from its current outfit to the Kenya Defence Forces, in line with the Constitution.
The Chief of the General Staff title has now been changed to Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces. He will be a member of the powerful National Security Council, which consists of the President, his deputy, Inspector General of the National Police Service, Attorney General, Director General of the National Intelligence Service and Cabinet secretaries for Defence, Foreign Affairs, and Internal Security.
The council will exercise the supervisory control over national security organs and assess and appraise the objectives, commitments and risks of the Republic in respect of actual and potential national security capabilities. The Constitution explicitly states that the composition of the command of the defence forces shall reflect regional and ethnic diversity of the people of Kenya.
May be deployed
Under the Constitution, the Kenya Defence Forces consists of the Kenya Army, Air Force and Navy who may be deployed in any part of the country affected by unrest or instability only with the approval of the National Assembly. They will be expected to assist and cooperate with other authorities in situations of emergency or disaster, and report to Parliament whenever deployed to such circumstances.
A Defence Council shall be established to consist of the Cabinet secretary responsible for Defence who is the chairperson, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the three commanders of the Defence Forces and the principal secretary in the Ministry of Defence. The new law says the council will be responsible for the overall policy, control and supervision of the Defence Forces and any other functions prescribed by national legislation.
The National Cohesion and Integrity Commission had earlier raised questions about ethnic composition in various Government departments, including the military. Previous Chiefs of General staff are Gen JM Ndolo, Gen Jackson Mulinge, Gen Maahmud Mohamed, Gen Daudi Tonje, Gen Joseph Kibwana and Gen Jeremiah Kianga.Last Edited: Thu 14th July 2011 at 07:18:39 AM