Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla dies in chopper crash

Thursday, April 18th, 2024 20:45 | By
Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla
Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla. PHOTO/@kdfinfo/X

Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Francis Ogolla has died in a chopper crash at the Kaben-Cheptulel border between Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot Counties.

President William Ruto has made the sad announcement from State House. “I’m deeply saddened to announce the passing on of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces,” Ruto has confirmed.

The president has also revealed that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) chopper was carrying 12 military personnel; and that 10 (including CDF Ogolla) died while two survived.

"Together with him (CDF Francis Ogolla), in the crash, were 11 other gallant military personnel; nine (9) who also passed on with him and two survivors," he announced.

He further announced all the names of those who passed on.

“The gallant military personnel who passed on with General Ogolla are; Brigadier Swaleh, Said, Colonel Dancan Keitany, Lieutenant Col. David Sawe, Major George Benson Magondu (was the pilot), Capt. Sora Mohammed, Capt. Hillary Litali, Snr Sgt John Kinyua Mureithi, Sgt. Cliffonce Omondi and Sgt. Rose Nyawira,” he revealed to the nation.

The Kenya Air Force Huey Helicopter crashed moments after taking off from a local primary school.

Ogolla joined the Kenya Defence Forces on April 24, 1984, and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant on May 6, 1985, and posted to Kenya Air Force.

Ogolla died aged 61.

Ogolla appointed CDF

President William Ruto promoted Francis Omondi Ogolla from Lieutenant General to the rank of General and appointed him Chief of the Defence Forces for a four-year term in new military changes.

Ogolla was appointed to replace General Robert Kariuki Kibochi, whose term of service came to an end last year after a successful 44-year career in the military.

Prior to his appointment, Ogolla served as the Vice Chief of the Defence Forces.

Tonje Rules

Ogolla, who comes from the Kenya Airforce, was earmarked to take over the CDF post in line with Tonje Rules.

The Tonje Rules, brought into place by retired Chief of Staff General Daudi Tonje, introduced a rotation system that gives equal chances to the three Services of the Kenya Defence Forces: Army, Navy and Air Force, to lead the military.

In line with the Tonje Rules Ruto had to pick Ogolla from the Kenya Air Force since the outgoing CDF was drawn from the Kenya Army and succeeded General Samson Mwathethe from the Navy.

The next CDF could be picked from the Navy.

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