Chief of Defense Force Francis Ogolla is Dead

Chief of Defence Forces, Francis Ogolla, tragically passed away following a helicopter crash in Kaben, Marakwet East. The incident occurred on Thursday, claiming Ogolla’s life along with several other officials who were onboard.

The chopper, reportedly carrying 12 individuals including high-ranking officers, burst into flames upon impact, leaving only one survivor, believed to be a photographer.

Ogolla, who assumed the role of Chief of Defence Forces on April 28, 2023, was known for his dedication and leadership within the Kenyan military.

His sudden demise has left a profound void in the nation’s defense establishment. The helicopter, a Kenya Air Force Huey Helicopter, had departed from a local primary school before meeting its tragic fate.

The purpose of the flight was to conduct a survey of the area in preparation for the deployment of additional troops to combat cattle rustlers—a testament to Ogolla’s commitment to maintaining security and stability within the region.

The crash site was swiftly cordoned off as authorities initiated investigations into the cause of the accident.

Initial reports suggested a discrepancy in the number of casualties, with police indicating five fatalities and three survivors.

Among those onboard were also bureaucratic officers from the Ministry of Defence, highlighting the broad impact of this tragic event on the nation’s military leadership.

Ogolla’s tenure as Chief of Defence Forces marked a period of transition within the Kenyan military, following his appointment in a series of changes that saw him succeed General Robert Kibochi.

Kibochi, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 62, passed on the mantle to Ogolla, entrusting him with the crucial responsibility of leading the country’s defense forces.

The untimely demise of Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla is not only a loss to the military fraternity but also to the nation as a whole. His legacy of service and dedication will be remembered, as Kenya mourns the loss of a respected leader and patriot.