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The day military chief Francis Ogolla publicly apologised to Rachel Ruto

The late Chief of Defence Forces of Kenya, General Francis Ogolla, has gone down in the history of Kenya as the military chief with the shortest stay in office having just assumed the position in April 2023.

His short stay in office notwithstanding, General Ogolla, who died on Thursday in a helicopter crash, was not without his fair share of controversies.

Also read: ‘Moment of great sadness,’ Ruto confirms General Ogolla’s death

On one occasion,  General Ogolla had to publicly apologise to First Lady, Rachel Ruto, after he breached protocol by failing to recognise Mama Rachel before giving a speech at a function that was also attended by President William Ruto.

“I want to make an apology Your Excellency. When I was going through the salutations I discovered I did not recognise Her Excellency the First Lady. And I apologize Your Excellency (as he saluted her)…” Gen Ogolla said during the 2023 KDF Day.

Also read: Who is General Francis Ogolla? Quick facts about the late CDF

At the time, General Ogolla was the Deputy Chief of Defense Forces in the rank of Lieutenant General.

Prior to that, in August 2022, General Ogolla had been sucked into the high stake drama of the Presidential Election pitting Dr Ruto and his political rival Raila Odinga.

President Ruto would later state that he appointed General  Ogolla as the Chief of Defence Forces against the advice of many in his inner circle.

While fielding questions from journalists on live TV in May 2023, President Ruto said he exercised magnanimity of leadership to appoint “Mr Ogolla, who had walked into Bomas of Kenya to try and overthrow my win” after the August 9, 2022 General Election.

Also read: A terrible day for Kenya! Raila Odinga mourns the loss of General Francis Ogolla

He said the popular advice he got from his loyalists was not to reward Gen Ogolla “owing to his (claimed) attempted power grab against the will of the people, “but I insisted on him because his experience justified his being given the job”.

The President was referring to claims by former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati that on August 15, 2022, Vice CDF Ogolla, attempted to force him to declare Mr Odinga as the winner or force a rerun.

Azimio la Umoja contested the final presidential tally, claiming that IEBC had bungled the election following glaring electoral malpractices and tallying inaccuracies.

The matter was taken to the Supreme Court of Kenya but the petition was eventually thrown out and President Ruto victory upheld.