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Farewell to General Ogolla

The body of Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Francis Omondi Ogolla arrived at his rural home in Ngiya Siaya country for a state funeral following his tragic death during a tragic chopper crash.

Kenyans led by President Dr. William Ruto had gathered on Saturday held his memorial service at Ulinzi Sports Complex in Nairobi before the body was flown to Kisumu.

The late general’s final requim mass will be held at Senator Obama K’Ogello Primary School in Ngi’ya before he is later laid at his rural home for the final rites.

General Ogolla died along with other nine military officers in the tragic crash on Thursday April 18, 2024 at Sindar , Elgeyo-Marakwet County while on an official assignment in the North Rift on his way to the Recruits Training School in Uasin Gishu.

Earlier the CDF had inspected various primary schools where the military is undertaking renovation works and visited military personnel in Kainuk and Chesitet camps within the region.

Speaking at the memorial service where the military personnel, high ranking government officials, High Commissioners and Ambassadors had attended to bid farewell the to the fallen CDF, President William Ruto assured General Ogolla’s family of the government’s support in honour of the service the General did for Kenya.

The President mentioned modernization of the equipment being used by the military and protection of the men and women in service as among General Ogolla’s vision in transforming the military.

“We have a clear plan how to modernize equipment being used so as to provide safer and discharge responsibility of services of our country better,” Ruto said adding “It is sad he will not be there to see the elaborate transformation and modernization he had envisioned come to fruition”.

Ruto described the CDF as among the finest of the exemplary public servants who was in a very special class that represents the best of what Kenya has to offer, an officer with a distinguished and a military commander who was a patriotic citizen of the country with great humility.

“He deserved to be the CDF, an appointment that I am proud to have made. The nation will benefit from his wisdom, insights as he served this nation with admirable commitment with excellence,” remarked the President.

Ruto also described Ogolla as a gallant General and visionary leader who understood the tranquility and had strategies to improve the military.

“Ogolla was passionate about the welfare of soldiers, on many occasions he asked for permission to visit them in operation areas. He is one of the most general travelled boss who visited operation areas,” said the President.

Ruto also wished the two survivors of the crash who are still receiving treatment quick recovery.

The others who died in chopper crash were Brigadier Swale Saidi, Col. Duncan Keittany, Lt. Col. David Sawe, Major George Benson Magondu, Capt. Sora Mohamed, Capt. Hillary Litali, Senior Sgt. John Kinyua Mureithi, Sgt. Cliphonce Omondi and Sgt. Rose Nyawira.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who eulogized General Ogolla as a humble, pleasant kind and amiable person said the death of the fallen CDF that happened while serving should strengthen the resolve of the military personnel to protect the country’s borders and to keep peace in the country.

“Though we appreciate the general died on duty, it would have been acceptable if he was pursuing the enemies of this country from other countries but it is tragic that he died while trying to settle challenges caused by our own people here in Kenya,” said Gachagua.

He added that General Ogolla’s death should also strengthen the resolve of the security agencies to wipe out the banditry menace in the country once and for all, saying that if achieved it will be a great honour to the fallen hero.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who addressed the mourners described General Ogolla as a nationalist, industrious, a man of few words who loved his country and was ready to serve and die for the nation.

“He is a father who is simple, knows his responsibilities to the society, has mentored many and believed in Kenyan dreams that are carried in our National Anthem such as peace and liberty which should be found through our borders,” said Raila.

The late General Ogolla leaves behind a widow Eilleen Kathambi Ogolla, children Joel Rabuku Ogolla, Lorna Achieng Ogolla, a daughter in-law and grandchild.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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