GDAMS Nairobi 2015 Narrative Report

COALITION FOR CONSTITUTION IMPLEMENTATION

IN CONJUNCTION WITH

GLOBAL CAMPAIGN ON MILITARY SPENDING (GCOMS) – KENYA

 

 

GDAMS Nairobi 2015 Report

 

 

April 2015

Acknowledgement

The Global Day of Action on Military Spending[1] (GDAMS) Nairobi 2015 would have not been a success without enormous efforts that were put by the planning team that was composed of Hilda Musimbi, Anthony Kirika and David Otieno who took time out of their busy schedule to plan the GDAMS Nairobi 2015. They also coordinated field data collection, processing, analysis and also conducted literature review of various sources that came up with national, regional, continental and global military expenditure for select countries.

We thank the International Steering Committee (ISC) of GDAMS specifically Colin Archer for their contribution especially in suggesting various links including the Stockholm Peace Research Institute[2] (SIPRI) that enabled the local planning team to get various military spending for different countries that has been studies. We also thank Simon Ndura, Tom Oketch, Charles Olonde and Vincent Kidaha who made contributions to the report at the plenary and Boniface Mwangi of Pawa 254 who allowed us to use his tents and seats free of charge. Finally we thank all the respondents who were interviewed during data collection and all those who attended the commemorations as without them, the whole process would have been futile.

David Calleb Otieno

Convener CCI Kenya & GCOMS Kenya

Summary

Since April 2011, activists from around the globe have been marking GDAMS at different places in the world with different activities arguing that if a small fraction of the global military spending would be spent differently, then it would go a long way to resolving the real and very grave challenges facing our planet including inequitable distribution of resources and resource related conflicts.

GDAMS initiative was co-founded in 2011 by the International Peace Bureau[3] (IPB) and the Institute for Policy Studies[4] (IPS) and is now being coordinated by the Global Campaign on Military Spending[5] (GCOMS) which a global campaign whose main objective is to ask the world governments to reduce their military expenditures.

In 2015, GDAMS was marked on 13 April with the GDAMS Nairobi 2015 being held at Freedom Corner Nairobi where a detailed report titled “I Would Plant Trees to Combat Climate Change[6] that contained survey report including street survey conducted in Nairobi to “assess views of members of public on military expenditure and their preferred spending areas” and literature review of various sources that led to comparative military expenditure of Kenya and select countries in the East Africa region and the Africa continent was released to the public.

After the release of the report, members marched to the memorial site of the Garissa University Massacre[7] where they signed condolence books, laid wreaths and planted trees in their memory.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgement 2

Summary. 3

Table of Contents. 5

1.0. GDAMS Nairobi 6

1.1. Past GDAMS. 6

1.2. GDAMS Nairobi 2015. 7

1.2.1. The Survey. 7

1.2.2. Literature Review.. 8

1.3. Report Presentation. 8

1.3.1. Survey Report 8

1.3.1.1. Social and Economic Problems Common in Nairobi 8

1.3.1.2. Climate Change. 9

1.3.2. Establishing the view of the respondents on whether the global military spending of KSh153 Trillion (USD 1.75 Trillion annually?) translated to safety in the world. 9

1.3.2.1. Terrorism.. 10

1.4. To examine the knowledge of the respondents on GDAMS/GCOMS and whether they wanted to know more about GDAMS/GCOMS. 11

1.5. Kenya Military Expenditure. 12

1.6. Kenya Military Expenditure in Comparison with other East African States. 12

1.7. Kenya Military Expenditure in Comparison with other African States. 13

2.0. Conclusion and Recommendations. 14

2.1. Recommendations for the African Governments. 14

2.2. Recommendations for the African CSOs. 15

2.3. Recommendations for GCOMS Kenya. 15

3.0. References. 16

 

 

1.0. GDAMS Nairobi

1.1. Past GDAMS

Since the inception of GDAMS in 2011, Kenya has consistently marked the day with several activities ranging from photo opportunities, processions, tree plantings and seminars discussing Kenyan military expenditure. In 2011, GDAMS was marked by a photo opportunity where a group of students in Eastland Nairobi posed with a banner[8]. In 2012 several groups including Bunge la Mwananchi (BLM), Wanjiku Revolution and Baraza la Taifa held a procession and presented a petition to the office of the President along Harambee Avenue[9] while in 2013 several organizations under the banner of the BLM and Coalition for Constitution Implementation (CCI) again held a procession to the office of the president where they presented a petition[10].

In 2014 several organizations including BLM and CCI held a forum at Ufungamano House where a detailed report of Kenyan military expenditures was discussed[11]. There after a march, tree-planting and candle-lighting activities were also held at Freedom Corner in Nairobi[12].

 

 

1.2. GDAMS Nairobi 2015

The GDAMS Nairobi 2015 came at a time when Kenya is just smarting from Garissa University terror attacks that has left at least 147 students dead and about 100 injured. The GDAMS Nairobi 2015 was preceded by a street survey that was aimed at “assessing views of members of public on military expenditure and their preferred spending areas”. Literature review was also conducted to come up with Kenyan military expenditure.

1.2.1. The Survey

The survey targeted a total of 30 persons randomly sampled in the streets on Nairobi. The survey adopted a qualitative and quantitative approach since the survey had data from questionnaires.

The objectives of the survey were:

  1. To establish the main social and economic problems common in Nairobi
  2. To establish the view of the respondents on whether the global military spending of KSh153 Trillion (USD 1.75 Trillion annually?) translated to safety in the world
  3. To establish the view of the respondents on what their spending priorities would be if they were given KSh153 Trillion (USD 1.75 Trillion annually
  4. To examine the knowledge of the respondents on GDAMS/GCOMS

1.2.2. Literature Review

Various sources were relied upon in coming up with figures that helped in coming up with Kenya military expenditure in comparison with select African countries. Most of the figures relied upon in the report that was released were from the SIPRI that has been conducting research on military spending for 25 years. Some of the figures were also sourced from Defence Web[13] which is a defence news portal in Africa.

1.3. Report Presentation

The GDAMS 2015 began by presentation of a report containing field survey report and comparative Kenyan military expenditure with select African countries.

1.3.1. Survey Report

1.3.1.1. Social and Economic Problems Common in Nairobi

On social and economic problems facing the people of Nairobi, the meeting was informed that the fact that the issues that came up during the survey related to public service delivery indicated that the sector has consistently received less budgetary support. The meeting was also informed that almost all the respondents raised the issue of insecurity and specifically terrorism threats as an issue, indicating that huge military expenditures both locally and internationally do not necessarily translate to safety and security pointing to a possible misuse and misappropriation of security sector expenditure. Those who mentioned terrorism felt that the government is doing very little to protect Kenyans from terrorism and other forms of insecurity.

1.3.1.2. Climate Change[14]

The meeting was also informed that some respondents mentioned issues related to climate change like environment degradation and pollution pointing at the concern of the citizens on issues of climate change that is a result of human activities. The meeting was informed that climate change is a major threat to global peace and safety hence there is need for the world governments including Kenya to start investing in climate change adaptation and mitigation instead of military. Members were told that military incursions and nuclear weapons pose much danger to the environment hence climate change.

1.3.2. Establishing the view of the respondents on whether the global military spending of KSh153 Trillion (USD 1.75 Trillion annually?) translated to safety in the world

The meeting was informed that majority of the survey respondents felt that most of the conflicts are caused by inequitable distribution of resources hence unless equitable distribution of resources is attained, no amount of military hardware could ensure safety. Other respondents felt that such huge spending complicated the peace process as arm and military hardware manufacturers create conflicts to get the cash and military hardware does not necessarily translate to safety since the war hardware makes the world more inclined to vicious and more destructive wars as opposed to no weapons at all.

Members were also informed that some respondents felts that the high global military expenditure is due to the fact that major powers are arming themselves against imaginary enemies creating more tensions hence the high global military spending. There were also questions regarding misappropriation of military spending hence for that reason insecurity has continued to exist despite such huge military spending meaning that the monies could be ending into people’s pockets hence there should be thorough investigations on how the monies are being used. Members were further told that people’s participation was mentioned by some of the respondents as one of the ways through which safety could be enhanced as people participation and willingness to cooperate with security apparatus can be used to enhance safety.

1.3.2.1. Terrorism

Members’ attention was also drawn to the fact some respondents raised concerns to the continued terrorist attacks that has rocked Kenya with many mentioning Westgate[15] terror attack and more recently Garissa University attack that has left hundreds dead and several others injured. Members were told that most respondents failed to understand why despite such huge military expenditure, terror attacks still continued in Kenya and around the globe.

1.3.3. Establishing the view of the respondents on what their spending priorities would be if they were given KSh153 Trillion (USD 1.75 Trillion annually

The meeting was informed that the respondents sampled came up with several proposals on things they would do if they were given the global military expenditure money. Most of the respondents talked about improving healthcare, improving education standards and improving infrastructure, investing in irrigation farming among others indicating the wanting status of public service delivery at the grassroots.

The meeting was told that given the responses got like issues of food security, provision of affordable housing and water to the people in the slums including general public service delivery issues they indicated that majority of Kenyans want them to be given a priority by Kenyan government during budgeting.

1.3.3.1. Planting Trees to Combat Climate Change

The meeting was informed that some respondents talked about planting trees to combat climate change pointing to the fact that the impacts of climate change is impacting on people’s lives locally. The members were told that one of the themes of GDAMS 2015 was “Move the Money” from military to support climate change adaptation and mitigation.

1.4. To examine the knowledge of the respondents on GDAMS/GCOMS and whether they wanted to know more about GDAMS/GCOMS

The meeting was informed that 60% of those sampled during the survey were not aware of GDAMS/GCOMS underscoring the huge responsibility bestowed on the local GCOMS structures to educate the citizens more on matters of military spending both locally and internationally and their impact in their lives. However that there are those who were aware about GDAMS/GCOMS is a pointer to the impact the past GDAMS have had in raising awareness on matters of military spending. The fact that at all those sampled indicated that they were interested in knowing more about GDAMS/GCOMS provides the local GCOMS structure with an opportunity of mobilizing more people into the local GCOMS structures and also is an indicator to growing interest of locals in matters of military spending.

1.5. Kenya Military Expenditure

The meeting was informed that in 2013/2014 Kenya allocated a whooping KShs74.4bn on military issues out of the KSh1.6Trillion budget of that year and that the military budget was far more than the spending in other critical sectors like Agriculture which received KShs38.1bn, Environment, Water, Irrigation and Housing which received KShs55.4bn, Preventive and Curative Health Services which received KShs34.7bn and Social Protection, Culture and Recreational that received KShs57.2bn[16].

Members were also informed that in 2012/2013, Kenya allocated the military sector close to KSh70 billion compared to other sectors like irrigation that was allocated a paltry KSh8 billion, Welfare of orphans, which was allocate KSh4.4 billion and KSh1.1 billion to the elderly persons of the society. Youth Development Fund and Women Development Fund were allocated KSh550 million and KSh450 million respectively

1.6. Kenya Military Expenditure in Comparison with other East African States

The meeting was informed that in 2012, Kenya was ranked top in East Africa in terms of military expenditure importing more weapons than other peers in the East African region over the same period and that according to SIPRI report, the total expenditure of Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda combined still fell below the Kenyan total expenditure in 2012 while in 2013 Kenya’s spending dwarfed the spending of other East African countries.

Furthermore members were informed that cumulatively, Uganda’s total military expenditure for the years 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 amounted to USD1, 202mn almost comparing to Kenya that spent USD1, 275mn during the same period and were further informed that the increasing military expenditure by Kenya can be attributed to the following to increasing incidences of terror attacks like the recent Garissa University attacks Westgate siege and church attacks that have led to lose of lives and the “Operation Linda Nchi” that saw KDF invade Somalia in response to several cases of kidnappings some involving foreign nationals and in search of Al Shabaab who were blamed for such kidnappings.

1.7. Kenya Military Expenditure in Comparison with other African States

The meeting was informed that according to SIPRI, in 2013/2014, Kenya increased her military budget by 20% dwarfing continental mean rise which was at 8.3% and that Kenya spent a total of USD861mn in 2013 in military related issues. In 2012/2013, Kenya ranked seventh in military expenditure. South Africa topped in Africa in terms of military expenditure spending over $4,785 million over the same period. It was followed by Angola at $3,827 million with Morocco, Libya and Nigeria occupying position three, four and five respectively

The meeting was also told that in 2013/2014, Kenya was ranked sixth after Libya was dropped from the continental ranking. During the same period Angola surpassed South Africa as the highest military spender in the Sub Saharan Africa region. The Angola military spending is expected to rise by 2019 due to increased demand for border security equipment, fighter jets, multi-role aircraft, helicopters, navy vessels and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The increase in Morocco’s military spending members were informed is attributed to arms race pitting Morocco and Algeria due to the Western Sahara region where Morocco believes that Algeria is arming the Polisario[17] rebel group seeking autonomy of Western Sahara from Morocco.

GCOMS Kenya Convener David Otieno presenting a Report on Kenya Military Expenditure during GDAMS Nairobi 2015
GCOMS Kenya Convener David Otieno presenting a Report on Kenya Military Expenditure during GDAMS Nairobi 2015
Members planting trees at Freedom Corner Nairobi during GDAMS Nairobi 2015
Members planting trees at Freedom Corner Nairobi during GDAMS Nairobi 2015

2.0. Conclusion and Recommendations

The meeting was concluded by tasking several players including CSOs, African Governments and local GCOMS structures.

2.1. Recommendations for the African Governments

The meeting recommended that there is need for engagement of African governments to declassify military spending so as to allow the public and CSOs to interrogate military expenditure. African Anticorruption agencies were asked to investigate military expenditure in the continent to ascertain whether such allocations are prudently used or they end up in people’s pockets

The African governments were also asked to be more vocal at the Global Arena in pushing for world powers and states to move the money from military and invest more in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, in Public Service Delivery, in Post 2015 Development Agenda and in Peace Process.

2.2. Recommendations for the African CSOs

The meeting had several recommendations for the CSOs that included the need for the CSOs to be more vocal on matters relating to military expenditure, the need to mobilize public participation by organizing community forums to discuss military spending, the need to push for more allocations on issues of climate change, public service delivery, peace processes and post 2015 development agenda and to monitor use of resources allocated on issues relating to military.

2.3. Recommendations for GCOMS Kenya

The meeting had several recommendations for the local GCOMS Kenya chapter. The recommendations were that:

  1. GCOMS Kenya continues to mobilize more organizations to join the campaign for reduction of military spending in Kenya
  2. GCOMS Kenya initiates local debates and public forums regarding military spending
  3. GCOMS Kenya holds monthly meetings and also hold local meetings to coincide with other global military spending forums
  4. GCOMS Kenya engages with other organizations dealing with issues of climate change locally like the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance[18] (PACJA) based in Nairobi and others like Kenya Climate Change Working Group[19] (KCCWG).
  5. GCOMS Kenya being the most active in Africa organizes GCOMS chapters in the East Africa region and Africa as a whole
  6. GCOMS Kenya should plan to host GCOMS Africa during the GDAMS 2016 as a preparation to the Berlin Conference in September 2016.

3.0. References

ADILI, The National Budget in 2013/2014 at a glance. Available from:<http://www.tikenya.org/phocadownload/userupload/adili%20newsletter%20issue%20142.pdf>. [12 April 2015]

CDOTIENO, GDAMS Nairobi 2015: Military Spending Report Released at Freedom Corner. Available from:<https://cdotieno.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/gdams-nairobi-2015-military-spending-report-released-at-freedom-corner-13-april/>. [15 April 2015]

CDOTIENO, Global Day of Action on Military Spending 2014-Presenttaion on national, regional and continental military expenditure. Available from:<https://cdotieno.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/global-day-of-action-on-military-spending-2014-presentation-on-national-regional-continental-military-expenditure/> [8 April 2015]

Defence Web, Africa’s Leading Defence News Portal. Available from:<http://www.defenceweb.co.za/>. [15 April 2015]

Global Campaign on Military Spending, About GCOMS. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/global-campaign-on-military-spending/>. [11 April 2015]

Global Campaign on Military Spending, GDAMS. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/global-day-action-military-spending/>. [11 April 2015]

Global Campaign on Military Spending, Events, Reports & Photos-Africa. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/event-reports-photos-africa/> [8 April 2015]

Global Campaign on Military Spending, Events, Reports & Photos-Africa. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/2012-reports-africa/> [8 April 2015]

Global Campaign on Military Spending, Events, Reports & Photos-Africa. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/events-reports-photos-2013-africa/> [ 8 April 2015]

Global Campaign on Military Spending, Events, Reports & Photos-Africa. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/event-reports-photos-2014-africa/> [8 April 2015]

Green African Directory, Kenya Climate Change Working Group. Available from:<http://www.greenafricadirectory.org/listing/kenya-climate-change-working-group/>. [12 April 2015]

International Peace Bureau, About IPB. Available from:<http://www.ipb.org/web/index.php?mostra=content&menu=about%20ipb&submenu=History>. [11 April 2015].

Institute for Policy Studies, About ISP. Available from:<http://www.ips-dc.org/about/ >. [11 April 2015]

Met Office, What is Climate Change. Available from:<http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-guide/climate-change>. [15 April 2015]

On 2 April 2015, Gunmen stormed Garissa University in Kenya killing at least 148 students

On 21 September 2013, Gunmen stormed Westgate Shopping Mall in Westlands Nairobi killing 67 people

Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, About PACJA. Available from:<http://www.pacja.org/index.php/en/about-us>. [12 April 2015]

Sahara Press Service, Polisario Front reiterates its request to provide MINURSO human rights monitoring in Western Sahara. Available from:<http://www.spsrasd.info/en/content/polisario-front-reiterates-its-request-provide-minurso-human-rights-monitoring-western-sahar>. [12 April 2015]

Stockholm Peace Research Institute, SIPRI. Available from:<http://www.sipri.org/>. [15 April 2015]

[1] Global Day of Action on Military Spending, GDAMS. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/global-day-action-military-spending/>. [11 April 2015]

[2] Stockholm Peace Research Institute, SIPRI. Available from:<http://www.sipri.org/>. [15 April 2015]

[3] International Peace Bureau, About IPB. Available from:<http://www.ipb.org/web/index.php?mostra=content&menu=about%20ipb&submenu=History>. [11 April 2015].

[4] Institute for Policy Studies, About ISP. Available from:<http://www.ips-dc.org/about/ >. [11 April 2015]

[5] Global Campaign on Military Spending, About GCOMS. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/global-campaign-on-military-spending/>. [11 April 2015]

[6] CDOTIENO, GDAMS Nairobi 2015: Military Spending Report Released at Freedom Corner. Available from:<https://cdotieno.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/gdams-nairobi-2015-military-spending-report-released-at-freedom-corner-13-april/>. [15 April 2015]

[7] On 2 April 2015, Gunmen stormed Garissa University in Kenya killing at least 148 students

[8] Global Campaign on Military Spending, Events, Reports & Photos-Africa. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/event-reports-photos-africa/> [8 April 2015]

[9] Global Campaign on Military Spending, Events, Reports & Photos-Africa. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/2012-reports-africa/> [8 April 2015]

[10] Global Campaign on Military Spending, Events, Reports & Photos-Africa. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/events-reports-photos-2013-africa/> [ 8 April 2015]

[11] CDOTIENO, Global Day of Action on Military Spending 2014-Presenttaion on national, regional and continental military expenditure. Available from:<https://cdotieno.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/global-day-of-action-on-military-spending-2014-presentation-on-national-regional-continental-military-expenditure/> [8 April 2015]

[12] Global Campaign on Military Spending, Events, Reports & Photos-Africa. Available from:<http://demilitarize.org/event-reports-photos-2014-africa/> [8 April 2015]

[13] Defence Web, Africa’s Leading Defence News Portal. Available from:<http://www.defenceweb.co.za/>. [15 April 2015]

[14] Met Office, What is Climate Change. Available from:<http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-guide/climate-change>. [15 April 2015]

[15] On 21 September 2013, Gunmen stormed Westgate Shopping Mall in Westlands Nairobi killing 67 people

[16] ADILI, The National Budget in 2013/2014 at a glance. Available from:<http://www.tikenya.org/phocadownload/userupload/adili%20newsletter%20issue%20142.pdf>. [12 April 2015]

[17] Sahara Press Service, Polisario Front reiterates its request to provide MINURSO human rights monitoring in Western Sahara. Available from:<http://www.spsrasd.info/en/content/polisario-front-reiterates-its-request-provide-minurso-human-rights-monitoring-western-sahar>. [12 April 2015]

[18] Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, About PACJA. Available from:<http://www.pacja.org/index.php/en/about-us>. [12 April 2015]

[19] Green African Directory, Kenya Climate Change Working Group. Available from:<http://www.greenafricadirectory.org/listing/kenya-climate-change-working-group/>. [12 April 2015]

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