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Statement of Former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Other Leaders on the Death of KDF Chief Francis Ogolla

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Condolences and prayers for Chief of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) General Francis Ogolla poured in from across the country and region following his death earlier Thursday, and former President Uhuru Kenyatta is the latest to join other leaders in mourning the fallen soldier;

That was after the current Head of State, President William Ruto, announced that the military chief had died in a helicopter crash in the afternoon hours of April 18, 2024, in Elgeyo Marakwet County, killing him and nine other members of the military and leaving two.

“Today at 2.20 pm, our nation suffered a tragic air accident at Sindar area, Kaben location, Tot division, in Elgeyo Marakwet County. I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces,” President Ruto said in a live address from State House, Nairobi.

General Francis Ogolla, now the late but ‘Generals never die,’ who held the country’s top military rank next to Commander in Chief as the Chief of Kenya Defence Forces, has been mourned by many national leaders as a true patriot of unmatched dignity and constancy whose legacy in the army and general will loom large in the pages of Kenyan history.

>> KDF Ranks and the Recent Change in Top Leadership

Here is what the country’s fourth president, Uhuru, said and excerpts from the statements of some leaders who have already expressed their condolences:

Uhuru Kenyatta: “It is with great sadness that I have learned of the tragic passing of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of Defence Forces of Kenya. His untimely demise in a helicopter crash at the Kaben-Cheptulel border between Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties is a significant loss for our nation.

The CDF was not only an accomplished military leader but also a devoted patriot who dedicated his life to serving and protecting our beloved country. His leadership, bravery, and unwavering commitment to duty have made a lasting impact on our armed forces and our nation as a whole.

As the Head of State, I had the privilege of serving with General Ogolla as Deputy Commander of the Kenya Air Force, Commander of the Kenya Air Force, and finally as Vice Chief of Defence Forces.

During this period of mourning, please accept my sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the family, friends, and colleagues of the other officers of the ill-fated flight.

May the memories of these exceptional military officers, who had a profound influence on our nation, bring you comfort and strength in this difficult time.”

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu: “Nimepokea kwa masikitiko makubwa taarifa ya kifo cha Mkuu wa Majeshi ya Ulinzi ya Jamhuri ya Kenya, Jenerali Francis Omondi Ogolla na wanajeshi wengine tisa katika ajali ya helikopta iliyotokea leo katika Kaunti ya Elgeyo-Marakwet.

Natuma salamu za pole kwa Rais na Amiri Jeshi Mkuu wa Majeshi ya Ulinzi ya Kenya, Mheshimiwa @WilliamsRuto, wananchi wote wa Kenya, familia, ndugu, jamaa na marafiki wa wote waliopoteza jamaa zao katika katika ajali hiyo. Poleni sana.

Mwenyezi Mungu azilaze roho za ndugu zetu hawa mahali pema peponi. Amina.”

Burundi President Évariste Ndayishimiye: “The passing of Gen Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, is a profound sorrow felt beyond borders.
My deepest condolences to my brother, President William Ruto, the family of the late and the Nation of Kenya.
Burundi stands with you during this difficult time.”

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga: “A terrible day for Kenya:
My wife Ida and I are deeply saddened and profoundly shocked by the passing of General. Francis Ogolla, the Chief of Defence Forces. We join the nation in mourning his loss. Gen. Ogolla was a true patriot, a highly decorated soldier, and a consummate professional who served our country with unwavering dedication.

Our hearts go out to his family, his colleagues in the KDF, and the entire nation as we grieve this immense loss.

We also extend our very heartfelt condolences to the families of the KDF team who were accompanying Gen. Ogolla. We know that at this moment, words will not be enough to console your tremendous grief. We pray the Lord may give you comfort.
May the souls of all those who have departed find eternal peace.”

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki: “Tonight, a dark cloud hangs over Kenya, following the death of the Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla and nine other military officers who have perished while on duty to protect our Country.”

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen: “My deepest condolences to the families and friends of Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla and his officers, who died in a KDF helicopter crash earlier today.

I also wish the two gallant soldiers who were injured in this tragic incident a quick recovery.

In the course of duty, I came to know Gen Ogolla as a man of dignity and great wisdom. On many occasions, we had consultations, especially on matters of aviation. Just this February, he called on me in my office and we had an extensive conversation on the development of our aviation sector and the good work our defence forces do to defend our borders.

May the Lord comfort his family and those of his colleagues during this difficult time.”

First Lady Rachel Ruto: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the demise of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF).

Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Aileen Ogolla, and the family during this difficult time.

We also remember the other families affected by this unfortunate accident and pray that God comforts and strengthens them.

Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Following General Ogolla’s passing, President William Ruto has made a proclamation for flags to be flown at half-staff at the State House and public buildings as the country enters three days of mourning.

Read Also: Sad Story Of a Pilot In USA To Garbage Collector In Kilifi

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JUSTUS KIPRONO
JUSTUS KIPRONOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Justus Kiprono is a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He tracks Capital Markets and economic trends, infrastructure reform, government spending, and the financial impacts of state decision-making nationwide. You can reach him: [email protected]
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