President Uhuru Kenyatta has today expressed gratitude to the Kenya Defence Forces for their role in Kenya’s progress beyond their core mandate of safeguarding the country, naming railway restoration, revival of Kenya Meat Commission and ship building as some of the roles in which the military had excelled.
“To all our servicemen and women, I shall never tire of thanking you for your bravery, excellence, and dedication. You are the golden spear of our safety, our shield against those who wish to do us harm, and a beacon of inspiration for the entire Nation.
“As a modern and versatile military, KDF has embraced roles that go beyond your core mandate and have excelled in them. On account of your record of delivering superlative results, I tasked the KDF to take charge of various strategic national programmes and to even rescue failing institutions,” the President said.
The President spoke on Friday when he presided over the KDF consecration, presentation and trooping of colours by the 21st Battalion of the Kenya Rifles at Langata Garrison in Nairobi City County.
He said military unit will relocate from Mariakani to Manda in Lamu County it will partner Kenya Navy and the multi-agency team operating in the area to safeguard Kenya’s maritime border and ensure safety of residents.
“Together with the Kenya Navy Base Manda, the Unit will establish a permanent presence in Boni Forest from where it will secure the border areas and support Manda Base in executing Maritime defence within an already existing Multi Agency framework. The Unit will also support in providing security to the population in Lamu County,” President Kenyatta said.
The President said the award of colours to all the three battalions that constitute the 6th Brigade of the Kenya Army during his tenure is a significant milestone in enabling KDF to deliver on its mandate of defending and protecting Kenya’s territorial integrity.
He pointed out that the trooping of colours is not only intended to fete national values but also to celebrate the KDF track record of diligently discharging their mandate with honour.
“It is also a celebration of our national values, the sacred call to serve with honour that typifies KDF, our military’s immaculate track record of discharging its duties faithfully and courageously; and, above all, it is a celebration of our country and our flag.
“We are on occasions such as this, reminded of the symbolism and significance of our National Flag and its three colours – Black, Red and Green. It is the embodiment of our national pride, our values, our history; and our commitment to peace while always being ready to defend ourselves and our heritage of splendor,” he said.
Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi expressed gratitude to President Kenyatta for having supported KDF in achieving its mandate by providing adequate resources, guidance and leadership.
General Kibochi challenged the new battalion to go forth and fulfill its mandate as per requirements saying the Government and Kenyans at large expect the unit to compliment others in ensuring the country’s security.
“This day marks a very critical milestone of this particular battalion, and for them now is to deliver according to the mandate that they have been given. It is true to the old adage that for whom much is given, more is expected,” General Kibochi said.
Earlier, President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa, presided over the official opening of the Kenya Army Band headquarters and the Kenya Defence Forces School of Music.