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ODPP pays tribute to CDF General Francis Ogolla

Friday, April 19th, 2024 11:02 | By
Chief of Defence Forces the late General Francis Ogolla. PHOTO/KDF(@kdfinfo)/X
Chief of Defence Forces the late General Francis Ogolla. PHOTO/KDF(@kdfinfo)/X

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has joined the nation in grieving the tragic loss of Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Francis Ogolla and 9 other military officials who perished in a helicopter crash at the Kaben-Cheptulel border between Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot Counties.

In an official statement shared on Friday, April 19, the ODPP expressed its deepest sympathy for the tragic loss.

"The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions conveys its deepest sympathy to the families, friends, and the entire nation of Kenya on the untimely passing of CDF General Francis Omondi Ogolla and the nine brave officers while on official duty."

ODPP said that General Ogolla, a distinguished four-star general, will be remembered for his exemplary leadership, unwavering dedication to duty, and commitment to personal development and professionalism.

"In solidarity with the nation and the Kenya Defence Forces, we mourn the loss of these ten gallant officers and pray for the full recovery of those injured in the tragic incident. May the departed souls find eternal peace, and may their families find solace and strength during this challenging period," the statement by ODPP read.

Defence CS eulogises Ogolla

Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale also paid tribute to General Ogolla, describing him as a decorated and distinguished Kenya Air Force officer who served the country for 40 years.

"As the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, I had the privilege of working closely with General Ogolla. His legacy will forever be cherished in our hearts and our nation's history."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those of the other officers in the ill-fated flight," Duale expressed.

The Kenya Red Cross Society also mourned the loss, highlighting General Ogolla's role in their partnership during various emergency responses.

"General Ogolla was a good friend of the Kenya Red Cross Society, a gallant officer, brilliant operations manager, and a true humanitarian," the KRC statement read.

"We have partnered with the KDF in various emergency responses including the current floods that are affecting many parts of the country. Gen. Ogolla was a good friend of the Kenya Red Cross Society, a gallant officer, a brilliant operations manager and a true humanitarian. We will miss his leadership, commitment and humility. On behalf of the board, staff and volunteers of Kenya Red Cross Society, we extend our condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the families, relatives, friends, and colleagues."

Death of Ogolla

The tragic demise of CDF General Ogolla was announced by President William Ruto from State House on Thursday, April 18.

“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 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.

A Huey helicopter belonging to the Kenya Air Force crashed shortly after departing from a nearby local primary school.

Ogolla enlisted in the Kenya Defence Forces on April 24, 1984, and was granted the rank of 2nd Lieutenant on May 6, 1985. He was subsequently assigned to the Kenya Air Force.

Ogolla passed away at the age of 61.

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