Home NewsNational President Kagame Mourns Kenya’s Gen. Ogolla In Condolence Message To President Ruto

President Kagame Mourns Kenya’s Gen. Ogolla In Condolence Message To President Ruto

by Edmund Kagire
9:04 pm

Gen. Ogolla was among the 10 people who died in helicopter crash on Thursday. Photo/Getty Images.

President Paul Kagame has joined Kenyans and East Africans in mourning the passing of Kenya’s Chief of Defense Forces, General Francis Ogolla, who was among 10 people killed when their military helicopter crashed shortly after take-off on Thursday in West Pokot County, North Rift

The Head of State, using X, the platform formerly known, expressed his condolences in a Kiswahili message to President William Ruto, who announced the tragic news on Thursday evening, as well as the families of those who perished in the crash with Gen. Ogolla.

“I send my condolences to the President @WilliamsRuto, families and loved ones of the plane crash victims including the Chief of Defense Forces General Ogolla, who will be remembered for his professionalism and humility in his service,” President Kagame tweeted.

Gen. Ogolla visited Rwanda in June last year. Here, he received a gift from his Rwandan counterpart, Gen. Muganga.

Gen. Ogolla, died alongside Maj George Benson Magondu, the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft, Brig Swale Saidi, Col Duncan Keittany, Lt-Col David Sawe, Capt Sora Mohamed, Capt Hillary Litali, Senior Sgt John Kinyua Mureithi, Sgt Cliphonce Omondi and Sgt Rose Nyawira. The two people of the 12 survived, with President Ruto indicating that they are receiving treatment.

“This is a moment of great sadness for myself, as the Commander- in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the KDF fraternity and the nation at large,” the President said while announcing the sad news on Thursday.

“Our motherland has lost one of her most valiant generals, gallant officers, servicemen and woman,” he added, declaring three days of national mourning.

Gen. Ogolla’s helicopter crashed during a work mission to the North Rift to restore order and inspect works to rehabilitate schools and other public facilities, and to combat endemic cattle-rustling. The aircraft came down just minutes after leaving Cheptulel Boys Secondary School in West Pokot County.

While in Rwanda, Gen. Ogolla was accorded a guard of honour by Rwanda Defence Force (RDF)

President Ruto said investigations were ongoing to determine the cause of the fatal crash which killed the General who previously served as the head of the Kenyan Airforce, before rising through the ranks to become the deputy military chief and then being promoted by Ruto last year to head the military.

Gen. Ogolla joined the Kenya Defence Forces in 1984, where he trained as a fighter pilot with the United States Air Force and as an instructor pilot at the Kenya Air Force (KAF), according to a Defence Ministry profile. He was set to retire next year. Regional leaders and military heads joined in to mourn the passing of the distinguished servicemen.

Gen. Ogolla visited Rwanda last year in June, where he met and held talks with his Rwandan counterpart, Gen Mubarakh Muganga, at the Ministry of Defence Headquarters. Prior to the talks, he was accorded a guard of honour.

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