DP Gachagua urges adequate funding for Haiti peace mission

Rigathi Gachagua in Narok

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua joins in a Maasai dance at Ol Motonyi Primary School grounds in Kilgoris, Narok County during the interdenominational church service and fundraiser on Sunday, October 15.

Photo credit: Ruth Mbula | Nation Media Group

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has called on other nations to assist and ensure there are sufficient resources to restore peace in Haiti.

Mr Gachagua said even though Kenya is among the countries providing security personnel to the troubled nation, more resources are needed in the peacekeeping mission.

The DP said the government will follow the law in deploying Kenyan security personnel to Haiti and urged the National Assembly to support the plan.

"We are asking Parliament to support us. We are providing our men and women, we are asking the community of nations to ensure that we have enough resources," said Mr Gachagua.

"We as a country are a bit poor in resources."

He noted that Kenya will be sending the 1,000 police officers, who will be fully funded by the United Nations.

"Our officers are professional and can be trusted to contribute to peacekeeping missions around the world. Besides, our forces have a history of peacekeeping missions," he said.

"It is good for our officers to go there and then bring back the experience here," the DP said.

Mr Gachagua was speaking in Lolgorian, Kilgoris Constituency, Narok County, on Sunday during an interdenominational prayer service and fundraiser for 21 churches.

Mr Gachagua was hosted by Narok Governor Patrick Ole Ntutu, Narok MPs and other leaders.

The government's initiative to deploy Kenyan security officers in Haiti has drawn mixed reactions from different quarters.

Late last week, opposition leader Raila Odinga criticised the country's involvement in the Haiti affair, saying Kenya had its own security challenges.

President William Ruto recently said that the Kenyan-led force "will not abandon the people of Haiti".

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah, who accompanied Mr Gachagua, said they would next week discuss some of the issues approved by Cabinet last week, including the Haiti peace mission.

"We will ensure that the law is followed and that all questions raised by Kenyans about the mission are answered. This includes whether money meant for Kenyans is being used to fund the officers' mission to Haiti," said Mr Ichung'wah.

The Majority Leader said their proposal is that member countries of the United Nations that are not contributing troops should support by providing other necessary resources.

"Our economy at the moment does not allow for financial support in such matters. We have many unemployed youths in Kenya who need employment. Leaders here have said that Trans Mara youths need employment," said the National Assembly Majority Leader.

He noted that any concerns raised by Kenyans would be addressed by Parliament.

He added: "It is my considered view that due to the state of our economy today, since we are contributing forces, the community of nations, being the United Nations, should contribute resources towards the mission.”

Kenya's Cabinet on Friday approved the deployment of 1,000 police officers to lead a multinational peacekeeping team to combat gang violence in Haiti.

The National Assembly must now approve the cabinet's decision.

A Nairobi court last week temporarily halted the planned deployment of the police.

Justice Chacha Mwita stopped Interior CS Kithure Kindiki from deploying the police until a case filed by the Thirdway Alliance is heard and determined.

"An interim order is hereby made restraining the respondents from deploying any police officers to Haiti or any other country until 24 October 2023," reads part of the order.

The judge also ordered that the pleadings be served on the respondents immediately and that the respondents file responses to the petition within three days of service.

On Thursday, Prof Kithure Kindiki appeared before a National Assembly committee on security and said parliamentary approval should be sought before sending in troops.

The CS was accompanied by Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome, who confirmed that training had begun for the first batch of officers to be sent to Haiti.

The Kenyan-led peacekeeping force was authorised by a United Nations Security Council resolution last month.

The council said the mission would be funded by voluntary contributions.

On politics and development, Mr Gachagua said he was grateful to the people of Narok for supporting and voting for the Kenya Kwanza leadership in the last elections.

“We came here and asked you to vote for us and you did so. We are thankful and appreciative of your support,” he said.

He added: "Narok Governor Patrick Ole Ntutu has been a great example for leaders in our party. He has a good working relationship with MCAs and MPs. We will support him as he works for the people of Narok," said Mr Gachagua.

Ole Ntutu said his administration has allocated Sh100 million for development in each ward.

He said they would procure milk coolers for every ward in Narok to add value to the commodity so that it can fetch better prices.

"We have increased milk prices and now it's Sh50 per litre. We will make sure that prices go up from here. We are also building a leather factory where farmers will supply hides and get better prices," he said.