Inside The Controversy Surrounding The Death Of General Ogolla

The death of General Francis Ogolla, the Chief of Defence Forces was surrounded by controversy as emerging information seem to render his service and death as ‘unlikely’.

The late General Francis Ogolla. PHOTO: CURTESY

General Ogolla died alongside nine other soldiers at Elgeyo Marakwet following a helicopter accident.

Raila Odinga’s Warning

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, during the 20th April commemoration of General Ogolla, recommended that speedy and urgent investigations into the death of Ogolla.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga addressing mourners. PHOTO: CURTESY

Raila further made a statement on the alleged involvement of Ogolla in Bomas Of Kenya during the 2022 elections Presidential votes tallying, a statement which would arguably prompt a different view of the death of the General.

“General Ogolla would never have contemplated to force Chebukati to alter 2022 general elections,” Raila said.

Ruto’s Remarks

In what was seen as exchange of words during during the commemoration, the President of Kenya, William Ruto disclosed details of a private meeting which he earlier held with the late Chief Of Defence Forces, General Francis Ogolla after he assumed the office of the president, at a time when he was seeking to find out who to appoint as the next Chief of Defence Forces.

President William Ruto looking emotional during farewell of General Francis Ogolla. PHOTO: CURTESY

The said meeting came in following the chaos which had been witnessed at the Bomas of Kenya on August 15, 2022 during the tallying of the presidential election results, where General Ogolla alongside other high-ranking military persons allegedly attempted to overturn the results, which would turn down Ruto’s victory.

Ruto revealed that the man-to-man “come to Jesus meeting” greatly influenced his decision to appoint the late General as the country’s CDF, revealing that the names which were forwarded to him for appointment did not involve Ogolla.

“All the recommendations and advise that I got on the next CDF did unfortunately not include General Ogolla, but he was a military officer with a distinguished career. There was only one problem, the events of the August 15 at the Bomas of Kenya,” President Ruto reiterated.

The President further revealed that Ogolla had admitted to visiting The Bomas Of Kenya, and during the closed-door meeting, Ogolla asked Ruto to either send him court martial, have him retired or forgive him.

“Mr. President, I will not try to defend myself. What happened was wrong and you have three choices: send me to court martial, have me retire, or forgive me,” Ogolla said, according to President Ruto.

Ruto said that after the meeting, he reflected on Ogolla’s words drawing parallels to his own experiences and legal battles at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, and the advice he had been given regarding appointment of ‘sensitive’ positions.

“I also reflected on the brief that I had been given when I came into office as President where I was told to think carefully about who I would appoint as Interior minister, Director General of NIS, Inspector General of Police and CDF,” Ruto said.

“I made a conscious decision to take a different trajectory, where professionalism and competency must come before ethnicity, and I made up my mind that Ogolla deserved to be CDF and it is an appointment I am proud of,” Ruto said.

Oburu Odinga’s Fear

Raila Odinga’s brother, Dr Oburu Odinga, during the burial of General Ogolla on April 21, said that there have been for years, deaths of senior people from Nyanza region, but there have also been assassinations.

Oburu Odinga during the Burial Ceremony of General Francis Ogolla. PHOTO: CURTESY

Oburu further said that after the death of Robert Ouko, he was among the team, and the team was denied access to information that would uncover details of the death.

Oburu would finaly warn that the investigations of the death of Ogolla should not be compromised.

“Once beaten twice shy,” Oburu leiterated, warning Ogolla’s son to allow investigations into the cause of the General’s death.

Aden Duale’s Confession

Minister For Defence, Aden Duale, during the burial of General Francis, echoed Raila’s suggestion, revealing that during tallying of votes, General Ogolla had only been sent by his boss, adding that the coversation messages are available.

Defence CS Aden Duale. PHOTO: CURTESY

President William Ruto’s Commitment

on the same event, William Ruto admitted that there have been assassinations and extrajudicial killings, but it will never happen again “Under my Watch”.

He said that people may say different things but some may not understand the deep relationship Ogolla had with the government officials.

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