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KDF Chief Gen Francis Ogolla Dies in Chopper Crash


The Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, Gen Francis Ogolla, is dead.

Gen Ogolla’s demise was announced by President William Ruto at around 8:15 PM Kenyan time.

Gen Ogolla died on Thursday, April 18, following a helicopter crash at the Kaben-Cheptulel border between Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties.

President Ruto disclosed was on a working tour of the North Rift under Operation Maliza Uhalifu in the North Rift.

Ruto described the death of Gen Ogolla as both a personal loss, a loss to KDF fraternity and the whole nation.

Ealier, news of the crash of the military chopper quickly spread on social media, prompting the government to issue a statement warning against speculation.

In the ensuing suspense, various leaders, including former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, posted on the X platform about the tragic news.

Witness reports say the chopper burst into flames after crashing.

Further reports say the chopper was carrying 12 people when it went down.

Gen Ogolla took the oath of office on Saturday morning at State House on April 29, 2023, in Nairobi.

President Ruto declared that he was confident he had chosen the best candidate for the position following weeks of internal deliberation.

“In considering your appointment, I assessed your background, where you come from, what you have done, and your journey in the military, and I am satisfied that you merit the office.”

“You have my confidence and the confidence of the government of Kenya to discharge your responsibilities in your new office,” said the President.

Military career

The late Gen Francis Ogolla served as vice chief of the defence forces prior to his appointment as CDF.

He enlisted in the Kenya Defence Forces on April 24, 1984.

He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the Kenya Air Force on May 6, 1985.

READ ALSO: KDF ranks and salaries: All you need to know

Gen Ogolla trained as a fighter pilot with the USAF and as an instructor pilot with the Kenya Air Force (KAF).

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