Why legislators believe Somali boarder wall will not add value to anti-terror war

Mandera border point one

Members of the National Assembly now want investigators to look into how Sh3.4 billion was used to construct 10 kilometers of the controversial barrier between Kenya and Somalia.

The construction is of a wire mesh fence that will regulate movement across the 700 kilometer border with Somalia. The project stretches from border point one in Mandera all the way to Kiunga in Lamu at the Kenyan Coast.

MPs addressed the matter as the House committee on Defence and Foreign Relations tabled its report on the project and urged the government to fast-track its completion.

While noting on Wednesday that a border wall is not a viable measure in the fight against Al-Shabaab terrorists, they decried wastage of resources and said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) should probe this expenditure.

They raised these and other concerns after it emerged that the government is not building an actual to improve homeland security as the people have been led to believe.

The committee also urged the Defence ministry to come up with a comprehensive budget plan and a realistic timeline for its completion.

The legislators rejected this proposal saying the border wall project is not a viable measure against the threat presented by the Somalia-based and Al-Qaeda-linked terror group.

They said that as such, there is no value for money.

The building of the wall was initiated in 2014 with a partial allocation of Sh887.4 million, the goal being to curb illegal trafficking, terrorism and illegal immigration.

“These factors spurred from the historical background of Somalia being an unstable country, not a political proclamation and that there was need to come up with an obstacle to channel people towards one direction,” Mr Katoo Ole Metito (Kajiado South), who chairs the Defence and Foreign Relations committee told the House.

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