Nanyuki demands more from UK army
19 December 2012, 09:45
Leaders and residents of Nanyuki have given the British Army conditions of operating from the area.
Among the conditions to the British army training unit in Kenya (Batuk) are that 80 percent of the employment opportunities go to the locals, a bigger share of supply contracts and more community projects.
Every year, the Britain sends about 9,000 soldiers in three battalions for combat training in Laikipia and Samburu counties, Nanyuki show ground is their main operation base.
At a meeting convened by Nanyuki deputy mayor James Kimondo at Likii VCT centre at the weekend, hundreds of youths engaged as casuals complained of underpayment, corruption, nepotism and poor working conditions.
The camp’s quartermaster Major Justin Moyinhan and camp master Michael Wambugu, represented the British Army.
They assured the residents that their grievances were being looked into and its relationship with them would change for the better soon.
But a claim by Moyinhan that the soldiers stayed in the camp due to insecurity drew angry reactions from the leaders.
The business community had complained that the British soldiers were no longer bringing business to the town since they were being confined at the show ground camp whenever they returned from training.
It also sources goods and services from the city, they said.
Laikipia East parliamentary aspirant Bonny Murungi said the presence of the British soldiers had exposed the town residents to terrorist attacks while the locals were gaining little from their operations.
Erastus Wahome said he had been engaged as a casual for 20 years and has never been considered for permanent employment due corruption.
A KES 13 million worth of business generated by the troops during their three months stay goes to select individuals who have been allowed to open unlicensed shops inside Nanyuki show ground camp, the chairman of small-scale traders David Mulinge said.
Moyinhan assured the traders that the he would close the shops immediately except barber shops.
Salaries and wages would harmonized by February when a team of specialists looking into the Batuk relationships with the community competes it reports.
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