Some Kenyans online are questioning the government's priorities over a four billion Kenya shillings ($37m; £27m) small arms factory near the capital Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday presided over the opening of the factory in Ruiru area.
He said the factory was part of the government’s manufacturing blueprint – saying it would “enhance self-reliance, domestic innovation, and strengthening of local manufacturing capabilities, while offering decent jobs for [the] youth”.
However, some Kenyans have criticised the move, saying the money could have been used for other purposes.
“Why can't we manufacture ARV medicines instead of guns? Is it more important for us to kill than to save lives?”Mogada asked on Twitter.
“Our food production does not meet our needs. But we open a weapons factory yet we are not at war. Are we intending to export weapons? Weapons needs a war, extreme crime or heavy private ownership of guns as in the US. All the above don’t apply to Kenya. Only option left is export,”Jo posed.
Andrew J Franklin said: “GOK needs to enroll Kenya's motor vehicle assembly plants in a concerted effort to produce appropriately modified vehicles for combat operations against Shabaab insurgents and to use on patrol against heavily armed cattle rustlers elsewhere in northern Kenya. Buy Kenya...”
The arms factory can produce 12,000 assault rifles annually, with 60% of components being locally manufactured.