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Congress refers Kenya’s arms deal to team

Military Aircraft

Kenya’s proposal to buy 12 armed aircraft worth Sh43 billion has been referred to the US Congress House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

A US congressman prompted the action when he tabled a motion seeking to halt the purchase of the weapons from a US contractor.

Congress sent the matter to the committee on February 14. It relates to the proposed foreign military sale to the Government of Kenya of Air Tractor aircraft with weapons and related support.

Republican Congressman Ted Budd on his website said his office had received credible allegations of faulty contracting practices, fraud, and unfair treatment surrounding the sale.

BLOCK DEAL

Mr Budd, from North Carolina, is trying to persuade his colleagues to block and investigate the deal because, he argues, the company from his home state was selling the aircraft at twice the actual price.

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He argued that the contract to L-3 Communications was awarded without competitive bidding, yet the firm has no prior experience in developing such military weaponry.

American law states that all military weapons sales must be approved by the US Congress to allow oversight committees to review them and give an equal chance to competing firms before final determination.

The US ambassador to Kenya, Mr Robert Godec, has defended the deal and said the law would be followed in the sale of the arms.

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