KENYA DEFENCE FORCES OLD COMRADES ASSOCIATION (DEFOCA)
Kenya Defence Forces Old Comrades Association is an off-spring of the British Legion, African Section. The British Legion African Section was established in Kenya immediately after the end of the Second World War to cater for the welfare of the Ex-servicemen of the First and the Second World Wars. In the early 1950s with the declaration of a state of Emergency in Kenya where movement of persons was restricted, many British Legion African Section Clubs and Social centres became inoperative and most of these were taken over by then African District Councils (ADC) now called County Councils and were used for purposes not originally intended. When the state of Emergency was lifted in Kenya in January, 1960 most of these Clubs and Social Centres had disappeared completely and it has not been easy to date to repossess them. The British Legion African Section was disbanded on 30th September, 1960 and renamed “The Kings African Rifles and East African Forces Old Comrades Association” and sanctioned by British Legion in London . This Association came into existence on 1st January, 1961. At a special General Meeting held at Kenya Army Headquarters on 28th January, 1961, it was resolved to give the Association a new name to include the Kenya Air Force and Kenya Navy. It was unanimously agreed at this meeting that the Association adopts a new name to be known as the Kenya Defence Forces Old Comrades Association.
All the assets and property of both the British Legion African Section and East African Old Comrades Association were transferred to Kenya Defence Forces Old Comrades Association. The assets and property of the British Legion African Section were in the form of Clubs and social Centres established at District Headquarters throughout Kenya where Ex-KAR could gather and hold re-unions such as Remembrance Day organized by the District commissioners. The association has a number of properties some of which are developed while others are not. Others are still with the local authorities awaiting formal allocation. Over the years the Association has not managed to repossess some of the properties and appears to have lost others due to lack of proper documentation.
A feasibility study team comprising of serving senior Officers was appointed to look into ways of revamping the activities of Kenya Defence Forces Old Comrades Association and also review its Constitution. This was done and as a result of this, Department of Defence issued an AFSI No. 06 of 1998 on this and a New Constitution was drawn to replace the old one. The amended constitution allows both serving personnel and ex-service personnel to be members of Kenya Defence Forces Old Comrades Association on payment of membership fee. The membership fees for serving personnel is two days pay on first joining and thereafter an annual subscription fee of one day’s pay while membership fees for the ex-service personnel is Kshs 200/= and annual subscription of Kshs 100/= pensionable retirees are to pay two (2) day’s pension for membership and one day pay annual subscription. The membership drive was also introduced in the amended constitution and the exercised of recruiting serving officers and servicemen/women is on the move. The new constitution therefore made DFOCA to change its name from “KENYA DEFENCE FORCES OLD COMRADES ASSOCIATION” to “KENYA DEFENCE FORCES COMRADES ASSOCIATION” (DFCA) but the acronym remains DFOCA. The word ‘Old’ was omitted due to the fact that the serving personnel are members of the Association. Membership cards are issued to the paid up members.
- DFOCA is now organized as follows:
- The Trustees, National Council, Board of Management and the District Branches.
- The Trustees – owners of all the Association’s properties.
- National Council, Governing body- formulates policy of the Association.
- Board of Management – responsible for the implementation of Association’s policy.
- Branches Committees-carry out recruitment of members and disbursement of welfare assistance to retired servemen in their respective areas.
National Council Members are:
- The Chief of Defence Forces as Chairman
- The Vice Chief of Defence Forces as Vice Chairman
- Commander Kenya Army
- Commander Kenya Air Force
- Commander Kenya Navy
- Chairman Board of management
- 2 District Delegates elected annually at AGM.
The Board of Management
- Chairman:- ACDF Personnel & Logistics
- 4 Representatives of the:
- Kenya Army
- Kenya Air force
- Kenya Navy
- The General Manager
- The Treasurer
- Three District Delegates elected annually at AGM
District Branches committee consist of:
- Branch Chairman
- Divisional representatives
The Kenya Defence Forces Comrades Association is a member of a larger Royal Commonwealth Ex-services League and attends the triennial conferences held and arranged by the secretary – General at the Headquarters in London , United Kingdom. DEFOCA is associated with the British Legion (Kenya) through whom financial assistance and other grants come. DEFOCA, too, enjoys very good relationship with the Kings African Rifles and the East African Forces Association, the architects of the ASKARI APPEAL in the UK that benefits KAFOCA enormously.
ROLE OF DFOCA
The main objective of the Kenya Defence Forces Comrades Association is to promote the welfare of serving and retired members of the Kenya Defence Forces by:
- Raising funds through membership fees as well as soliciting and accepting gifts and donations i.e. from service personnel, Ex/Rtd personnel, Donations, Grants etc.
- Investing fund in income generating programmes i.e. Fixed Deposits, treasury bills etc.
- Relieving distress, alleviating poverty and generally improving the welfare of member in need i.e. financial assistance to ex-servicemen and benevolent fund to serving personnel.
- Acquiring movable and immovable property or any other assets and disposing of, mortgaging, leasing or otherwise dealing with all, or part of the property, assets or rights, for the benefit of the Association.
- Playing the role of uniting ex-service personnel through membership and subscription.
Membership to DEFOCA is open to all Defence Forces personnel including those who served with the British Forces during the WW II. Currently we have 21,858 registered members. About 2,901 are EX-KAR and Ex-servicemen while 18,957 are serving personnel of Defence Forces. They are all eligible for membership of the Association.