Kenya’s military bought seven fighter jets from Jordan that were later found to be defective, and they are now being used as sources of spare parts, the Auditor-General has reported.

Mr Edward Ouko says in his latest report on State’s accounts that the jets were bought from the Royal Jordanian Air Force through government-to-government negotiations on April 2007.

They were part of a fleet for which the government paid $15.3 million (Sh1.5 billion by today’s exchange rates). But when the Ministry of Defence’s technocrats inspected them, the Auditor-General said, they found a number of defects.

READ: Military planes ‘overpriced by Sh20bn’

When auditors went to Laikipia Air Base on June 2016, they found that the defects were yet to be rectified, and seven jets had not been operational from the time they were brought in Kenya and assembled.

“However, they are being used as sources of spare parts for other similar machines. No justification has been given for the purchase of seven aircraft at $7.1 million (Sh498.2 million), then use them as sources for spare parts,” the auditor said.

He also expressed concern about the direct procurement of supplementary services for the fleet of jets in 2009 for $2.9 million, and a decision to buy spare parts at a cost of $12.9 million through restricted tendering from a company rather than buy them directly from the aircraft manufacturer.

“It was not possible to confirm under the circumstances whether value for money was obtained in the procurement of these spare parts or whether payments were lawful and effective as required under the Constitution,” the Auditor-General said.

Mr Ouko also complained about the military’s failure to explain a decision to buy two excavators at more than four times their market price in the 2011/12 financial year.

The military paid Sh185.3 million instead of Sh40 million for the two excavators.

“No explanation has been given so far for excess and illegal payment of Sh145.3 million over and above the market price,” he said.

At the Foreign Affairs ministry, Mr Ouko found three instances where rent was being paid for houses abroad that were not in use as envoys had been recalled.

This was at the Kenyan embassy in Thailand (Sh8.7 million), South Korea (Sh2.2 million) and Mogadishu (Sh13.7 million).

Despite Kenya’s ambassador to South Sudan having been recalled on June 2013 and paid the required shipment and transfer allowance, the official continued to receive foreign service allowance and had by June 2016 been paid Sh15 million, contrary to the regulations, the Auditor-General said.

The ministry also appears to have bungled a plan to digitise its documents and records in Nairobi.

A contract was awarded and the firm paid Sh32 million of a Sh40-million contract but auditors found that the work was not yet complete and the software licences claimed to have been supplied were not made available to auditors.

In addition, the system failed and training did take place as had been placed.

In Islamabad, Pakistan, the ministry paid a contractor Sh516.7 million for a contract initially worth Sh443.1 million to build the high commissioner’s residence.

The contractor did not finish the job and the contract was terminated.

Neither that nor the payment of more than what had been initially agreed was explained to auditors.

The ministry however got a new contractor, with the job worth Sh90.1 million in 2015, but by March 2017 when auditors went there, the contractor was still on site and had not been levied penalties for failing to stick to the agreed deadline.

Kenya’s bid to buy Sh41 billion attack aircraft from an American firm was on Wednesday facing an uncertain future after five US legislators asked Congress to stop the deal because it was “inflated”, saying the cost was doubled.

Congressman Tedd Budd is leading four of his colleagues in a bid to block the sale of 12 attack aircraft and two trainer planes to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), which plans to use them in the war on the Al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia.

In a letter to Kenyan Ambassador to the US Robinson Githae, the lawmakers said they had a “reason to question the acquisition” as the $418 million (Sh41.8 billion) cost should have been much less, by more than $200 (Sh20 billion).


They added that L3 Technologies, the company contracted to deliver the aircraft, “has no experience converting agricultural aircraft into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft with precision-strike capability”.

The kind of aircraft Kenya is interested in are Air Tractor AT-802L, originally built for agricultural use but remodelled into armed planes for military purposes.

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Mr Budd is fighting to block the purchase as armouring the aircrafts would be undertaken by another company, Iomax USA, which supplied United Arab Emirates military with the same aircraft.


The UAE has since donated the Air Tractors to Jordan and replaced them with Archangels, also from Iomax. The UAE operated the Tractors until November 2015, when they were replaced by the first three of 24 Archangels.

The deal in contention, it is worth noting, includes armouring the planes, an arms package and a training programme for Kenyan military personnel.

But Mr Budd, in the letter to Mr Githae, insisted that he believed “Kenya would benefit by exploring its options in regard to this acquisition”.

The letter was also signed by Congressman Sanford Bishop, an African-American Democrat, and Republicans Walter Jones, Jeff Duncan and Mark Meadows.

They are urging their colleagues to block the proposed transaction and also calling on Congress to investigate the circumstances surrounding Kenya’s pending agreement with L3 Technologies.

“One aspect of this process that concerns us,” the US House members added, “is whether any misrepresentations about capabilities have been made.”

A different company with proven experience could provide Kenya with field-tested aircraft and related elements at a far lower price, said the congressmen.

“Spending $418 million of Kenyan national funds on aircraft that could be acquired for over $200 million less from a company that has years of past performance and an existing production line is not an optimal allocation of scarce defence dollars,” Mr Githae was told.

The alternate company is based in the state of North Carolina, represented in the US House by Congressman Budd.

“We ask that the government of Kenya take these facts, in particular the prospect of an ongoing congressional investigation of this sale, under consideration as it decides whether or not to proceed with this arms purchase,” further said the letter.


Mr James Braid, a senior aide to Congressman Budd, said in an interview on Tuesday that the type of converted agricultural aircraft manufactured by Iomax has been used to drop at least 2,000 bombs on Islamic State targets in Yemen, Syria and Libya.

Those attacks were carried out by the UAE, which purchased 48 of the planes, he said.

Kenya’s proposed deal with L3 has been approved by the State Department, which declined to comment on the allegations by the five Congress members.

The process for finalising a deal under the US Foreign Military Sales programme also involves a 30-day review by Congress. That period came to an end on Sunday without any formal expression of opposition to the proposed Kenya-L3 agreement.

But Mr Braid said the deal can still be blocked if Congress supports Mr Budd’s call for an investigation. The US government’s executive branch, headed by President Donald Trump, could also intervene to halt the sale, Mr Braid noted.

US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec has defended the propriety of the process.

“The process under way is transparent, open and proper,” the US envoy declared in a statement issued on Saturday. “This potential military sale would be carried out wholly in keeping with appropriate laws and regulations.”

No deal would be concluded, Mr Godec added, until the Ministry of Defence receives “a detailed US government document that will clearly describe each item to be purchased and service to be provided along with an estimated cost”.

Kenya can then negotiate a purchase price, he added.

The Kenyan Government will thus have “the opportunity to review the offer line by line and make a final determination on the Air Tractor aircraft package,” Mr Godec stated.

Lazma Wanaume Wajenge 500B Town

tano tena.

so planes bought in 2007 are a jubilee scandal?? how??
2007 was narc scandal

The deal was canceled kitambo.

In the long run these planes will ended up being expensive.

We expect Jubilee to act. Ama we move on.

o_O:D:D:Dspare parts:D:D

This was a kibaki scandal. nusu mkate came in early 2008

The usual suspects will not comment on this thread.

The latest link you have provided is over one year ago. Now I understand the deal was shelved immidiately after the February 2017 meeting.
Can you please provide material of the preceding period if you for real…?
This is otherwise, “chewing cud”