• May 22, 2024
  • Last Update May 22, 2024 11:54 AM
  • Nairobi

Former CS wants Kenyans to stop misinformation over Ogolla’s death

Politics

By Peter Ochieng

Kenyans have been urged to stop misinformation regarding the crash of a Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) chopper on Thursday afternoon.

The crash which happened within the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties claimed the lives of 10 top KDF officers, among the Francis Omondi Ogolla, Chief of Defense Forces (CDF).

Only two officers survived and are currently in critical condition. 

Some Kenyans online have questioned circumstances leading to the accident.

However, former Cabinet Secretary (CS) for defense Eugene Ludovic Wamalwa said Kenyans should stop the speculations, and wait for investigative agencies to get to the bottom of the of the matter. 

“He becomes the first General to die in the line of duty and we are calling on Kenyans not to speculate but to allow the security agencies to carry out thorough investigations into this accident so that we know what happened,” said Wamalwa, who served during retired President, Uhuru Kenyatta’s time in office. 

“The CDF is the most protected person after the Commander-in-Chief and therefore it is important thorough investigations are carried out and we know what happened. In the meantime, we want to ask Kenyans to be patient and we pray for the family and the larger KDF family for this terrible loss,” he added.

“We are greatly grieved by what has happened. I take this opportunity to pass my condolences to the family and the entire larger KDF family for losing not just a great soldier but an officer and a gentleman.” said Wamalwa. 

General Ogolla was only a year into his role as CDF. He succeeded Robert Kibochi who left office after clocking the mandatory 62-year- retirement age.

While announcing Ogolla’s passing on during a briefing at State House, Nairobi, on Thursday evening, President William Ruto said it was a sad day for the nation.

“Today at 2.20pm, our nation suffered a tragic air accident in Elgeyo Marakwet. I am deeply saddened to announce the passing on of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of Kenya Defense Forces,” announced the Head of State.

“Together with him in the crash were 11 other gallant military personnel, 9 who also passed on with him, with only two survivors,” he added.

“The Chief of Defence Forces had left Nairobi this morning to visit troops deployed in the North Rift under the operation Maliza Uhalifu, and to also inspect the ongoing school renovation works. He departed Chesegon for the recruits training school in Uasin Gishu County where he was scheduled to inspect construction facilities at the institution. Unfortunately, the aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff,” Ruto informed the country.

The President who doubles up as Commander  in Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces said Ogolla’s death is a personal loss to him 

“This is a moment of great sadness for me as the Commander In Chief of the KDF. It is a tragic moment for the KDF fraternity and it is an unfortunate day for the nation at large. Our mother land has lost one of her most valiant generals, we have also lost gallant officers, service men and women. The demise of General Ogolla is a painful loss to me and certainly the sorrow we all feel about this passing on is shared by all Kenyans and most especially the KDF fraternity.”

He announced a three day mourning period, starting today. 

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