Nairobi News

GeneralMust ReadNewsSports

Kenya’s football fraternity mourns military chief Francis Ogolla

A three-day national mourning period for the late Chief of Defense Forces General Francis Ogolla began on April 19, 2024.

This was announced by President William Ruto hours after a military helicopter crashed in Elgeyo Marakwet, killing the military chief and eight other personnel. Two officers survived the April 18, 2024, crash.

“In honor of the life and the distinguished military career of the fallen General, who lost his life not just while in office but in active military duty, the nation will observe a period of three days of mourning commencing tomorrow the 19th of April, 2024,” said President Ruto as he addressed the nation to confirm the General’s death- hours after the accident occurred.

Thousands of condolence messages from Kenyans and the political class were offered to the family of the late CDF Ogolla, a General who had only served for a few months since being appointed in April 2023.

Among the condolence messages were those from the football fraternity in Kenya.

Former Football Kenya Federation boss Sam Nyamweya mourned CDF Ogolla as an avid sports lover and a dear friend.

“On behalf of my family I wish to convey my sincere condolences on the death of General Francis Ogolla, the Chief of Defense Forces. had many collaborations with the military football team. Gen. Ogolla was one of the senior military officers who loved sports and occasionally shared on how Kenya can improve its sports especially football. I have lost a dear friend.

Kenya has lost a consummate pilot the best the country had, a leader of color and a visionally general. I pray to God to grant the family of Gen. Ogolla and the other gallant soldiers who died with him the fortitude and comfort at this time of mourning,” mourned Mr Nyamweya.

In a message from Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno, the Football Kenya Federation also mourned CDF Ogolla, asking all games set to be played to observe a minute of silence before kick off in honor of the fallen soldier.

Kenya Premier League side AFC Leopards also mourned with the Kenya Defense Forces and Kenyans at large.

We join the nation in mourning the loss of General Francis Ogolla, the Chief of Defense Forces, and the KDF team who had accompanied him Pole sana to our Ulinzi Stars FC counterparts. May the souls of all those who have departed Rest In Peace,” said Leopards in an April 19, 2024, statement.

Ulinzi Stars is also a Kenya Premier League side football team comprised of Kenya Defense Forces military personnel. They changed their colorful military insignia to a black and white one to mourn their fallen military chief.

CDF Ogolla used to train once a week with the Ulinzi Stars team, and in one of the last videos from these training sessions held two days before his untimely death, he could be seen jogging on a track accompanied by tens of military personnel as well as participating in aerobics warm up exercises such as jumping jacks, sit ups, belly workouts and warm down stretches.

The Bandari Football Club, another Kenya Premier League side team also mourned CDF Ogolla. Bandari is bankrolled by the Kenya Ports Authority government parastatal.

“Today, we mourn the loss of a great leader and patriot, CDF Ogolla. Our hearts are heavy as we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the entire nation. His dedication to service and unwavering commitment to our country will always be remembered,” said Bandari in their condolence message.

CDF Ogolla is set to be buried on April 21, 2024, at his Ng’iya, Alego Usonga home in Siaya County.

Also read: High profile state officials in Kenya who died in office