Politics and policy
Sh4.6bn Navy ship arrives after a journey of three weeks
Posted Wednesday, August 29 2012 at 20:27
- KNS Jasiri docked at the Mkunguni Navy yard, concluding a 20-day journey from Spain and probably ending the controversy that has lingered since the year 2003 when its acquisition was initiated.
- The Kenya Defence Forces declared Jasiri’s arrival ushers in an era in terms of boosting capacity to defend the country and enhancing its role within Amisom in Somalia.
- The country has several other warships some of which have and continue to be involved in the AMISOM operations off the coast of Somalia.
Kenya’s largest and most sophisticated battle ship on Wednesday sailed into Mombasa amid a ceremony by the military.
KNS Jasiri docked at the Mkunguni Navy yard, concluding a 20-day journey from Spain and probably ending the controversy that has lingered since the year 2003 when its acquisition was initiated.
The Sh4.6 billion vessel is expected to help in securing the country’s territorial waters and assist in the planned sea-based military assault against the Al Shabaab terrorist group.
The Kenya Defence Forces declared Jasiri’s arrival ushers in an era in terms of boosting capacity to defend the country and enhancing its role within Amisom in Somalia.
“Jasiri has capabilities and capacities that we did not have hitherto. If there are some people out there thinking they can come to our waters and worry us, let them know that things can get very tough for them,” warned General Julius Karangi, the Chief of the Defence Forces.
KDF top brass declined to divulge details of the ship’s capabilities but sources at the Department of Defence earlier told the Daily Nation the ship is fitted with long-range cannons, missile launchers, machine guns and sophisticated radar and communications systems.
“It is actually the best among war ships owned by navies in this part of Africa with the exception of South Africa,” a military official who cannot be named told Business Daily at Mkunguni.
Sea traffic at the Kilindini habour was halted for some time as the grey warship with the Kenyan flag emblazoned on its twin chimneys slowly made its way past the Mtongwe Navy Jetty on its way to Mkunguni, in the company of a fleet of Navy war ship and patrol boats.
The celebrations later shifted to Mkunguni where prayers were made for the safety of the ship and its crew and speeches made.
The occasion was attended by Navy Commander Major General Ngewa Mukala, Kenya Airforce Commander Major General Joff Otieno and Army Commander Major General J.K. Kasaon.
Also present were members of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations.
The team included Mr Adan Keynan (chairman) and members Charles Kilonzo, Wilson Litole, Mohamed Hussein Ali and Martin Ogindo.
General Kianga said the history and controversy that has dogged the acquisition of the battle ship was a thing of the past and Kenyans should now take pride in being the owners of a battle ship loaded with cutting edge-technology that puts it ahead of many other ships when it comes to sea-based warfare.
“The history of Jasiri is known to Kenyans and all manner of things have been said and happened concerning Jasiri since 2003 to date.