Speaking in Parliament while tabling the Military Veterans Bill, Kimunya narrated that his father was aboard a ship when they were attacked by the Japanese military in February 1944 during the World War I.
He added that his father was serving in the Kenya African Rifle and was part of the deployment that was sent to fight for the British government, and was among the 207 survivors.
“On February 12, 1944, there was a ship sailing from Mombasa on the way to Sri Lanka. This ship was carrying 1,511 passengers on board including 1,000 Africans who were part of the KAR.
“This ship was then torpedoed by the Japanese at 2.30pm. I know this because it was written by my father who was part of the 207 survivors of the incident,” the Kipipiri Legislator noted.
However, Mzee Kimunya did not retreat but proceeded to Burma and India to execute his military mandate. He survived the war and came back home to recount his experience to his family and friends.
Kimunya added that his father’s stories enabled him to understand the plight of military men and formed the hallmark of his respect and admiration for the men and women in the armed forces. He added that the men in uniform cannot protest in case their rights are infringed.
The Bill’s guiding principles include the honouring of the sacrifices made by the military veterans, awarding special benefits to those who suffer from disabilities and government ministries and departments to corporate with the Ministry of Defence.
“Policies shall be aimed at ensuring smooth and seamless military veterans from military service to civilian life; restoring the capability of military veterans with disabilities to the greatest extent possible and facilitating effective access to benefits and services for military veterans,” reads the Bill in part.
Guided by it, Kimunya asked his colleagues at the National Assembly to pass the Bill in order to advocate for better treatment of ex-military men in honour of their service to their country.
“I hope that the 12th Parliament can give these group of Kenyans the right protection that they need and the motivation that even when they retire, the country will take care of them as much as they have taken care of it,” he implored.