President William Ruto on Saturday, April 29 presided over the swearing-in of the new Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Francis Ogolla at State House, Nairobi.
Ogolla officially took over from General Robert Kibochi who retired after 44 years of service in the military.
“I want to congratulate the outgoing CDF General Kibochi for outstanding service not only to the military but to the people of Kenya,” Ruto said.
The President said he assessed Ogolla’s background, his journey in the military and he was satisfied that he had earned his place to ascend to the highest office in the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
“In assessing your appointment, I checked your background, where you have come from, what you have done and your journey in the military and I’m satisfied that you merit the office.
“You have my confidence and the confidence of the government of Kenya to discharge your responsibilities in the new office,” Ruto told the new CDF.
The Head of State further asked General Ogolla to maintain the dignity of KDF which he said is the most professional in the region and globally.
“It is my expectation that the professionalism of the Kenyan military will be observed under your leadership.
“Kenya has a tradition of military that is professional, outstanding, and has integrity. A military that serves not only the people of Kenya, but also the region and the globe,” he added.
Prior to his appointment, Ogolla served as the Vice Chief of the Defence Forces.
Also sworn in is Lieutenant General Jonah Mwangi who was appointed as the Vice Chief of the Defence Forces (VCDF).
Prior to his appointment, Lieutenant General Jonah Mwangi was the Vice Chancellor, National Defence University – Kenya.
Ogolla, who comes from the Kenya Airforce, was earmarked to take over the CDF post in line with Tonje Rules.
The Tonje Rules, brought into place by retired Chief of Staff General Daudi Tonje, introduced a rotation system that gives equal chances to the three Services of the Kenya Defence Forces: Army, Navy and Air Force, to lead the military.
President was expected to pick Kibochi’s successor from the Kenya Air Force since the outgoing CDF is drawn from the Kenya Army and succeeded General Samson Mwathethe from the Navy.
But Ogolla’s appointment came as a surprise to many as he was among officers who were adversely mentioned in the Bomas events of the August 9, 2022, General Election in which Ruto was elected the country’s 5th president.
Further the President, on the advice of Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale, on Friday upheld the Defence Council’s recommendations and made various promotions, postings and appointments of KDF officers.
The President also promoted Major General Said Farah to replace Jonah Mwangi as the Vice Chancellor of the National Defence University.
Brigadier David Kipkemboi Keter has also been promoted to Major General and appointed Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces Personnel and Logistics (ACDF P&L).
Ruto further promoted Brigadier Stephen James Mutuku to Major General and appointed him as Senior Directing Staff (Army) at the National Defence College.