‘Only thorough, transparent investigation into Ogolla’s death will put Kenya at peace’ – Raila

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 19 Apr, 2024 15:38 | 2 mins read
Raila Odinga signs a condolence book at General Francis Ogolla's home on April 19, 2024. PHOTO/X (@TheODMparty)

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya alliance leader Raila Odinga has called for a thorough investigation into the chopper accident that claimed the life of departed Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Francis Ogolla.

In a statement on April 19, 2024, Raila condoled with the family of General Ogolla and the Kenyan military at large.

"I join the people of Kenya, and indeed the international community in mourning our decorated fallen soldier. General Francis Ogola. My thoughts and prayers are with the General's family and the families of those who perished alongside him. I extend sympathies and prayers to the Kenya Defence Forces for which the General held big dreams and provided sound and firm leadership," Raila said.

Adding that; "General Ogolla devoted his life to serving this country, from the day he graduated, through multiple tours of duty, and ultimately as the top soldier in KDF. I acknowledge that our country has lost a military leader with deep knowledge, steady leadership, and strong judgment. I admired the General's vision to make our military stronger and more professional."

The Azimio leader however questioned the state of military equipment, noting that there have been several incidents with Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) aircraft.

"Even as we mourn, I wish to pose a challenge to the government. There has 'been long-running concern about the state of helicopters and other equipment being used by our security sector.

"Many near-death encounters have occurred with the security aircraft. We may never know what exactly brought down the helicopter in which the general died. It is our prayer that this tragedy may mark the beginning of a serious relook into our security equipment, especially the aircraft with a view to undertaking a complete overhaul and modernization of the equipment. That was the General's vision," the Azimio leader said.

Raila further called for a thorough, professional and transparent investigation into General Ogolla's death, saying only such a problem would give his family closure and guarantee peace for the whole nation.

"More importantly, the government owes this country a thorough, professional and transparent investigation into this death. Only such an investigation will put the family and the whole nation at peace.
May the General and his departed colleagues rest in peace," Raila said.

Ogolla's death

President William Ruto announced the death of General Francis Ogolla in a helicopter crash on Thursday afternoon April 18, 2024.

Addressing the press in the evening, President Ruto said the military chopper crashed at the Sindar area in Elgeyo Marakwet County at around 2:20 pm.

"Today, at 2:20 pm, our nation suffered a tragic air accident in the Sindar area, Keben location, Tot division, in Elgeyo Marakwet County. I am deeply saddened to announce the passing on of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces," he said.

Ruto went on to announce that the ill-fated helicopter was also carrying 11 other military officers, nine of whom were killed alongside CDF Ogolla in the crash, leaving only two survivors.

The deceased were; Brigadier Swale Saidi, Colonel Duncan Keittany, Lieutenant Colonel David Sawe, Major George Benson Magondu (Pilot), Captain Sora Mohamed, Captain Hillary Litali, Senior Sergeant John Kinyua Mureithi, Sergeant Cliphonce Omondi, and Sergeant Rose Nyawira.

General Ogolla will be laid to rest at his home in Mor, Alego Usonga, Siaya County on Sunday, April 21, 2024.

His family confirmed the latest saying that Ogolla had indicated in his will that he should be buried within 72 hours when he died. The burial ceremony will be preceded by a heartfelt service at his local church in Nduru.

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