Kenya gets new military chief weeks after General Ogolla’s death in air crash

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 2 May 2024 at 12:49

Kenyan President William Ruto has appointed a new Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), two weeks after a chopper crash claimed the life of General Francis Ogolla and nine other military personnel.

In new appointments announced on Thursday, May 2, President Ruto promoted Lieutenant Gen Charles Muriu Kahariri of the Kenya Navy to the rank of General and named him the country’s new military chief.

CDF Ogolla, 61, and his colleagues died after a military helicopter they were travelling in crashed at the Sindar area in Elgeyo Marakwet County on April 18.

The investigation into the deadly crash, led by officers from the Kenya Air Force, is ongoing.

In Kenya, the position of CDF rotates among the Kenya Army, Kenya Navy, and Kenya Air Force. This rotation is in accordance with rules established by the retired Chief of General Staff (CGS), Daudi Rerimoi Tonje.

The late General Ogolla came from the Air Force. He succeeded General Robert Kibochi, who was from the Kenya Army. General Kibochi, who retired after 44 years in the military, had taken over from General Samson Mwathethe of the Navy.

Further military changes in Kenya

In the Thursday changes, the Kenyan Head of State also promoted Major General John Mugaraval Omenda to the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed him Vice Chief of the Defence Forces. Until his appointment, Lieutenant General John Mugaraval Omenda served as Kenya Air Force Commander.

Further, President Ruto posted Major General Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed to Kenya Air Force and appointed her Commander. Similarly, Major General Paul Owuor Otieno has been posted to the Kenya Navy and appointed Commander.

Further, President Ruto upheld the Defence Council recommendations and made promotions, postings and appointments of KDF officers.

Major General Thomas Njoroge Ng’ang’a has been posted to National Defence University and appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration and Finance while Brigadier Peter Nyamu Githinji has been promoted to Major General and appointed Senior Directing Staff, Air at National Defence College.

Brigadier Jattani Kampare Gula has been promoted to Major General and appointed Managing Director Kenya Meat Commission.

Brigadier George Okumu was also promoted to Major General and appointed Managing
Director Kenya Ordnance Factories Corporation and Food Processing Factory.

The changes also saw Brigadier Samuel Kosgei Kipkorir named the new Deputy Commander Kenya Air Force.

Kenya's new Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Charles Muriu Kahariri at a past event.