President Ruto Confirms Demise of KDF Chief General Francis Ogolla

By Lauryne Akoth

His Excellency William Samoei Ruto has confirmed the demise of KDF Chief General, Francis Ogolla.

Speaking at State House, the president confirmed that the General passed away today at 2:20 p.m. in Sindar area Kaben location in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The General was accompanied by 11 military personnel, 9 of whom tragically lost their lives in the horrific crash, while two survived.

The Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces revealed the identities of the gallant soldiers who passed on including Brigadier Swaleh Saidi, Colonel Duncan Kaitany, Colonel David Sawe, Major George Benson Magondu,(Pilot), Captain Sorah Mohammed, Captain Hillary Mitali, Senior Sergeant John Kinyua Mureithi, Sergeant Cliphonse Omondi, and Sergeant Rose Nyawira.

The KDF Chief General who was on board the Kenya Airforce Huey Helicopter left Nairobi this morning to visit troops deployed in the North Rift under the operation Maliza Uhalifu to commend them for their great work and to also inspect ongoing school renovation works.

During his official tour, the General proceeded to the Kainuk forward operating base in Turkana County to visit troops. Subsequently, he departed for Chesegon in West Pokot County to inaugurate the rehabilitation of the Cheptulel Boys School.

The schools had been closed down due to insecurity in the area.

He also headed to Uasin Gishu County to oversee the recruit training school, where he was slated to inspect construction facilities for the institution. Regrettably, the aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff.

“This is a very sad moment for me as the commander in chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, it is a tragic moment for the Kenya Defence Forces fraternity and it is a most unfortunate day at large,” said Ruto.

The head of state praised the general as a courageous individual, a distinguished four-star general, and the other officers as brave service personnel.

“A distinguished four-star General has fallen in the line of duty and the service of the country. I convey my deepest condolences to all families who are grieving this untimely loss and our mourning nation as well. May the Almighty God rest their souls in peace and grant their families fortitude in this time of very deep sorrow,” said the head of state.

He also wished a quick recovery to the two soldiers who survived the accident and are currently hospitalized.

The President also announced that the Kenya Airforce has dispatched an air investigation team to determine the cause of the crash.

He additionally declared that the nation will observe a three-day mourning period in honor of the departed General starting tomorrow, the 19th of April,2024.

“During this time of national mourning, the Kenyan flag, the Kenya Defence Forces flag, the East African Community flag, and flags of all formations of the military shall fly at half mast in the republic of Kenya and in Kenyan missions abroad. Poleni sana,” Concluded President Ruto.