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Gen Charles Kahariri appointed to succeed the late CDF Francis Ogolla

Lieutenant General Charles Muriu Kahariri has been promoted to the rank of General and appointed Chief of Defence Forces.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence on May 2, President William Ruto made the appointment in terms of Section 9 (2) of the Kenya Defence Forces Act.

This section relates to the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces and (2) relates to the appointment of a CDF and the responsibility of the President to ensure the organisation and command of the Defence Forces.

According to the Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant General Charles Kahariri was appointed Deputy Commander of the Kenya Defence Forces on March 9, 2024.

He joined the Kenya Defence Forces on April 3, 1987, and was commissioned as an Officer (Second Lieutenant) on April 15, 1988. After commissioning, he underwent further training in the United Kingdom before serving in various capacities aboard ships in the Kenya Navy Fleet.

His military career spans 30 years and he has held various leadership, command and management positions including Commanding Officer – at Kenya Navy Ships Mamba, Madaraka and Umoja and Commanding Officer at Kenya Navy Base Manda.

He later held key positions such as Squadron Commander, Commander of the Kenya Navy Fleet and Deputy Commander of the Kenya Navy.

General Kahariri’s appointment comes in the wake of the tragic death of the former Chief of Defence Forces, General Francis Ogolla, who died in a military helicopter crash on April 18, 2024.

The late CDF Ogolla was among nine military personnel who died and two others who survived in the crash that occurred in the Sindar area on the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties. The helicopter was one of three that took off first and crash-landed minutes later.

CDF Ogolla was buried on April 21, 2024, at his home in Mor, Alego, Siaya County in an elaborate military funeral and a memorial service scheduled for April 26, 2024, has been postponed until further notice by the family and the Kenya Defence Forces.

The new Chief of Defence Forces will be Major General John Mugaravai Omenda, who has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed Deputy Chief of Defence Forces.

Prior to his appointment, he was Commander of the Kenya Air Force.

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