Uhuru signs law to help ex-military and family get jobs, scholarships
President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law the Military Veterans Bill, 2022 which will help Kenyans who have served in the armed forces to transition to civilian life and their family secure jobs and scholarships for education.
The Act will cover ex-servicemen and officers who served before or after 1963 in the colonial King’s African Rifles (KAR), post-colonial Kenya Armed Forces (KAF) or currently in the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
The law provides the establishment of the Dependants’ Education Fund by the Defence Council that will provide scholarships for the education of the children of deceased soldiers.
The Act requires the Defence Council to regulate the administration of the Fund including the procedures for processing applications for scholarships.
“The Defence Council shall facilitate the provisions of benefits under this section to military veterans and their dependants through the ministry responsible for matters relating to military veterans, any other government ministry, department or agency, or a private entity,” the Act states.
The Council consists of the Defence Cabinet Secretary, who is the chairperson, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the Air Force, Navy and Army commanders and the Defence Principal Secretary,
All soldiers receiving a pension, discharged or retired from the armed forces or the KDF on medical grounds and who were not dishonourably discharged will benefit from the new scheme.
The new law is aimed at ensuring that military retirees who are struggling to make ends meet enjoy a dignified life after dedicating their lives to serving the country.
“Policies regarding military veterans shall be aimed at ensuring the smooth and seamless transition of military veterans from military service to civilian life,” the Act states.
It mandates the Defence Council to determine the benefits to be accorded to military veterans and their dependants including employment, education, training and skills development among others.
The government has in the past come under the spotlight for failing to cater to the needs of ex-soldiers.