Kenyatta rubbishes report linking KDF to smuggling in Somalia

Kenyatta rubbishes report linking KDF to smuggling in Somalia

President Uhuru Kenyatta has described a report released by a Kenyan civil society group implicating the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in a sugar and charcoal smuggling network through Somalia’s Kismayo port as a farce.

Kenyatta who spoke while on a tour of the western region of the country said the report was aimed at tarnishing the otherwise remarkable track record of the Kenyan military.

The report titled “black and white, Kenya’s criminal racket in Somalia” has continued to receive terse condemnation from the government, the latest being from the commander in chief of the armed forces himself.

The report by journalists for justice claimed Kenyan troops in Somalia were benefiting from a multibillion shilling sugar and charcoal smuggling business, through which at least 150 million kilograms of sugar are smuggled into the country earning the KDF at least 1.3 billion shillings per year.

The report further accused the KDF of being part of a network involving the Jubaland administration, a chain that benefited the enemy: al-Shabaab militants whose main financial stay has been the charcoal trade.

The Head of State sought to assure the country that the forces have stuck to their mandate, that of securing the country, now under the African Union forces AMISOM.

Speaking miles away in Mwingi North constituency of Kitui County during a funds drive in aid of Mfukoni secondary school, a host of legislators led by national assembly majority leader Aden Duale have condemned the report, choosing to stand with the KDF.

The MPs argue that the report is out to arm-twist the government to yielding to what they term as misguided pressure on it to withdraw forces from Somalia.

On Friday, the leadership of the Jubaland region in Somalia that was similarly implicated in the report, refuted the allegations.