On Thursday, April 18, senior leaders expressed heartfelt tributes following the tragic demise of Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Francis Ogolla in a helicopter crash at the border between Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a poignant message, highlighted Ogolla’s pivotal role in the military, expressing his deep sorrow at the loss. Uhuru recalled his tenure, spanning ten years, during which he had the privilege of working closely with General Ogolla in various capacities, including as Deputy Commander of the Kenya Air Force, Commander of the Kenya Air Force, and Vice Chief of Defence Forces.

Uhuru described Ogolla as not only an accomplished military leader but also a devoted patriot who dedicated his life to serving and protecting Kenya. He emphasized Ogolla’s leadership, bravery, and unwavering commitment to duty, acknowledging the lasting impact he had on the armed forces and the nation as a whole.

Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu also conveyed her condolences to Ogolla’s family and the people of Kenya, expressing profound sadness at the loss of General Ogolla and the nine other soldiers in the helicopter crash. She extended sympathies to President William Ruto, the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, and all those affected by the tragedy.

First Lady Rachel Ruto shared a comforting biblical verse, Psalm 34:18, to console those mourning during this difficult time. Her message emphasized the belief that amidst grief, divine comfort is present for those who are suffering.

US Ambassador Meg Whitman fondly remembered General Ogolla’s passion for his work and his unwavering dedication to the citizens of Kenya. She extended heartfelt condolences to Ogolla’s family and all the families affected by the tragic crash. Ambassador Whitman praised Ogolla’s integrity and commitment to strengthening the partnership between the United States and Kenya, highlighting his significant contributions to bilateral relations.

The tributes from former President Uhuru Kenyatta, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu, First Lady Rachel Ruto, and US Ambassador Meg Whitman reflect the profound impact of General Francis Ogolla’s leadership and service to Kenya.