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President Ruto: I did not want my daughter to speak or attend Gen Ogolla’s burial

President William Ruto reflected on the significant impact the late Chief Defence Force General Francis Ogolla had on many individuals, including his own family.

During his address at the funeral service held at Senator Obama Primary School on April 21, President Ruto shared that his daughter, Charlene Ruto, was deeply touched by General Ogolla during his time of service.

He recounted an amusing anecdote about his attempt to stop Charlene from attending the burial.

“When my daughter called me last night and said she wanted to attend the burial, I told her ‘Charlene there is no way you are going and there is no way you are going to speak anywhere’. So as fate would have it, she found her way here and before I could notice, she was on the microphone. That is how Gen Ogolla was influential.”

The head of state also mentioned that he had initially asked his wife to focus on other matters, but she chose to attend the burial instead.

“Again, I had asked my wife that since we were in yesterday at Lang’ata maybe she could do something else today.”

President Ruto expressed the profound impact of the loss on the nation, saying:

“General Ogolla was influential to not only the people he worked with every day but to people who knew what he did for our country. Many people may say many things since they don’t understand what those of us who have worked closely with General Ogolla understand, about what he would do for our country. I am very sure the general here knows that they have lost a solid man and I wish we could all spare him and give him a decent sendoff.”

Kenya’s First Daughter, Charlene Ruto, paid a moving tribute to General Ogolla and expressed condolences on behalf of the nation’s youth.

Sharing the podium with General Ogolla’s daughter, Lorna, Charlene extended heartfelt condolences to the family, saying: “Our condolences to the family of General Ogolla from the young people of Kenya. Kenya has lost a CDF and as young people we have lost our mentor and our champion.”

Reflecting on her interaction with the late General Ogolla, Charlene recounted their conversation last year.

“I met him last year and he spoke so highly of the Africa Youth Climate Assembly and asked how we could mainstream the culture of environmentalism and climate action in the defence forces. We may still have to do that in his honour,” she said.

Charlene also talked about the last message the general had sent to her.

“…I read his last text to me this time last month and I just broke down. He was truly our champion. May he rest in peace,” she concluded her speech.

General Ogolla was buried at his family home in Mor, Alego Usonga, Siaya County according to his wish that he be buried within three days.