UPDATE Friday, June 17: Families of serving and retired Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers are set to receive scholarship opportunities among other benefits after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Military Veterans Bill of 2022 into law on Wednesday, June 15.
The historic bill, which was proposed by the National Assembly majority leader Amos Kimunya, offers dependants of military officers scholarship opportunities through the creation of an education fund.
Additionally, children of soldiers who lose their lives in and out of service will also benefit from the scheme.
"The Defence Council shall establish a fund to be known as the dependants' education Fund to provide scholarships for the education of the children of members of the Kenya Defence Forces, military veterans, and deceased members of the Kenya Defence Forces or deceased military veterans," the Bill read in part.
In terms of employment, dependants of KDF soldiers will get business advice from the government. The state will also facilitate placement for those seeking employment.
Acknowledging that military officers and their families face psychological and physical challenges during their deployment, the proposed law stipulated that they will also be eligible for therapy from the government as they recover.
"Subject to the provisions of this Act, benefits that may be conferred on a military veteran include counseling and treatment for post-traumatic stress or related conditions.
"Physical rehabilitation for any condition arising out of military service and honouring and memorialising fallen military veterans," part of the bill stipulates.
Further, upon the establishment of the Defence Council, the government will have retirement homes for officers who have retired with various services offered in the retirement homes.
"The Defence Council shall establish a retirement home, to be known as the Defence Forces Retirement Home, to provide residential and related services to military veterans."
Nyaribari Chache Member of Parliament and Chairman of the National Assembly's Defence and Foreign Relations Committee Richard Tongi stated that the officers and their families deserved the benefits given the sacrifices they make for the country.
"These men and women are the people who wake up to go and die for the good of the country. They put their lives on the line to ensure that we and our children are all safe," he stated.
In May last year, Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officer Sergeant Gerishon Wanyonyi Wasike sent a video from Al Shabaab captivity - faulting the government over its handling of his kidnapping, alongside other soldiers during the deadly El Adde attack.