On Tuesday, February 15, the government deployed Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) to various parts of the troubled Northern Rift Valley to deal with bandits.
This was after Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale gazetted the deployment of KDF to North Rift to now work with the National Police Service.
The deployment of the KDF has since elicited sharp reactions from a section of Kenyans and leaders.
While Kenyans support the deployment of KDF to weed out bandits, a section of leaders and lawyers appear to have a different opinion.
For instance, Trans Nzoia governor George Natembeya has warned of the dangers that will come as a result of KDF working with the Kenya Police Service.
Speaking as a former regional commissioner of the troubled region, Natembeya said that it could have been good if the government deployed KDF alone.
He said mixing KDF and the Kenya Police Service will have dire consequences and that there will be blame games at the end of the exercise.
“The military is very good when it works alone. But when you send them to support the police in North Rift, there is going to be a lot of blame games,” Natembeya said.
His comments were backed up by lawyer Peter Kagwanja who strongly opposed the deployment of KDF to deal with civilians.
He said that KDF, who are mainly tasked with defending the country’s territory, poses a threat to democracy.
“The military should only be deployed in cases where no other expertise can execute a function apart from that in the forces because militarization of civilian functions poses a real threat to democracy,” Kagwanja said on Wednesday, February 15, during an interview on KTN News.