Vice CDF Kahariri Affirms KDF Strength Remains Unwavering

April 22, 2024

Vice Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Charles Muriu Kahariri, assures that the Force remains robust despite the challenging period following the demise of General Francis Ogolla and nine others.

Lt. Gen. Kahariri said the members of the Kenya Defence Forces have accepted the will of God and are steadfastly fulfilling their duties to the nation.

Acting as the CDF, Kahariri emphasized that General Ogolla’s passing would only fuel the Force’s determination to excel.

Addressing attendees at the Ulinzi Sports Complex in Nairobi during the late Ogolla’s memorial service, Kahariri expressed admiration for Ogolla as a profoundly visionary leader, leaving behind a legacy to enhance the KDF.

General Ogolla and nine other military officers perished on April 18 in a helicopter crash on the border between Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gichu counties.

Kahariri will serve as the Acting Chief of Defence Forces until a substantive general is appointed and named by the President in accordance with the law.

The National Defence Council will convene to discuss and recommend the next military leader to the President for appointment.

As tradition dictates, the next Chief of Defence Forces will emerge from the Kenya Navy. With General Ogolla hailing from the Air Force and his predecessor, General Robert Kibochi, from the Army, naval leadership is the logical succession.

In military protocol, being a service commander greatly influences the selection of a Chief of Defence Forces. Lt Gen Mutai and Maj Gen Ng’ang’a are prime candidates to succeed Gen Ogolla, given their respective roles as service commanders.

Notably, Lt Gen Kahariri previously served as the deputy commander of the Kenya Navy.

According to the Kenya Defence Forces Act, both the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), their deputy, and service commanders are mandated to serve a single four-year term or retire upon reaching retirement age.

However, the Act provides a provision where, in times of war or emergencies such as political instability, the President, upon the National Defence Council’s recommendation, may extend the CDF’s term by up to one year.

The retirement ages for military ranks are specified: generals retire at 62, lieutenant generals at 61, major generals at 59, and brigadiers at 57.

Nevertheless, the law includes a caveat regarding the maximum retirement age, indicating that it may be altered through legislative measures based on recommendations by the Defence Council.

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