Last Moments Before CDF Ogolla Death & Names Of 9 Officers [FULL STATEMENT]

Together with him in the crash were eleven other gallant military personnel, 9 who also passed on and two survivors.

Last Moments Before CDF Ogolla Death & Names Of 9 Officers [FULL STATEMENT]
President William Ruto together with General Francis Ogolla at Uhuru Gardens on December 12, 2023. /PCS

President William Ruto announced the death of the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Francis Ogolla on Thursday, April 18 at 8.13 pm.

In his speech, Ruto declared three days of national mourning starting Friday, April 19 in honour of the late KDF boss.

Here is his full statement:

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.

Together with him in the crash were eleven other gallant military personnel, 9 who also passed on and two survivors. 

Photo of President William Ruto and Chief of Defence Forces, Francis Ogolla. /PCS

The gallant military personnel who passed on are:

  1. Brigadier Swale Saidi
  2. Colonel Duncan Keittany
  3. Lieutenant Colonel David Sawe
  4. Major George Benson Magondu
  5. Captain Sora Mohamed
  6. Captain Hillary Litali
  7. Senior Sergeant John Kinyua Mureithi
  8. Sergeant Cliphonce Omondi
  9. Sergeant Rose Nyawira

The CDF, onboard the Kenya Air Force Huey Helicopter, had left Nairobi this morning, to visit troops deployed in the North Rift under Operation Maliza Uhalifu, and to inspect the ongoing school renovations works in the following schools:

  1. Chesitet Primary School
  2. Cheptulel Boys High School
  3. Chepoton Primary School
  4. Ksaa Primary School
  5. Sablimoi Primary School

As part of his working tour, the CDF had been briefed on the security situation by a multi-agency team stationed at Chesitet in Baringo County, after which he proceeded to the Kainuk Forward Operating Base in Turkana County, where he addressed troops, commending them for their resilience and operational successes.

Last Moments

The CDF and his entourage departed from Kainuk to Chesegon, West Pokot County, where he launched the rehabilitation of Cheptulel Boys High School. He then departed Chesegon for the Recruits Training School in Uasin Gishu County, where he was scheduled to inspect construction facilities at the institution. Unfortunately, the aircraft crashed shortly after take-off. 

This is a moment of great sadness for myself, as the Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the Kenya Defence Forces fraternity and the nation at large. Our motherland has lost one of her most valiant generals, gallant officers, service men and women. The demise of General Ogolla is a painful loss to me, and certainly, the sorrow we all feel about his passing is shared by all the people of Kenya, and especially the KDF fraternity. A distinguished four-star general has fallen in the course of duty, and service to country. 

I convey my deepest condolences to all families who are grieving this untimely loss and our mourning nation. May the Almighty Lord rest their souls in peace and grant their families fortitude at this time of deep sorrow. I also wish a quick recovery to the two injured soldiers in this accident. 

Next Course of Action & National Mourning

The Kenya Air Force has constituted and dispatched an air investigations team, to establish the cause of the air crash.

In honour of the life and the distinguished military career of the fallen general, who lost his life not just while in office, but in active military duty, the nation will observe a period of three days of mourning commencing tomorrow 19th April 2024. 

During this time of national mourning, the Kenyan flag, the Kenya Defence Forces Flag, and the Eastern Africa community flag shall fly at half-mast in the Republic of Kenya and Kenya missions abroad. 

Poleni sana.

President William Ruto greets CDF Francis Ogolla at State House. /KENYA DEFENCE FORCES