MPs on Thursday approved a military pact between Kenya and the United Kingdom with reservations, calling for the speeding up of Kenyans' visa applications and a review of the ban on miraa.
This happened as UK High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey praised the new Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) worth Sh7.5 billion a year, saying it would “cement the longstanding military partnership between the two nations.”
“I welcome the decision of the Kenyan Parliament to ratify the new Defence Co-operation Agreement,” he said in a statement.
He said the agreement had treaty status, having been ratified by both the Kenyan and UK parliaments following scrutiny by the relevant constitutional agencies.
The deal includes continuing support for Kenyan security forces deployed in Somalia as part of the Amisom mission.
However, lawmakers from Meru County on Thursday opposed the defence deal, appearing to defy a directive Deputy President William Ruto issued at a meeting at his residence in Karen on Wednesday.
They said there was no firm commitment on the benefits of the deal for people from the region especially following the ban on miraa (khat) exports to the UK that they said had hurt farmers from the area.