Ruto: Why I appointed Gen Ogolla despite the Bomas election dispute
President William Ruto has defended his decision to appoint Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen. Francis Ogolla.
Ruto said his decision was based on merit and competence, not tribal or political affiliations.
“Many things in my system outweighed the mistake he made,” President Ruto told journalists at State House on Sunday.
“When I looked at his curriculum vitae, he was the best person to be the Secretary General,” he added, stressing that his decision was based on Ogolla’s rich track record and experience.
Ruto said he deliberately chose Ogolla from a pool of over 10 possible candidates, ignoring advice from allies who suggested he should not reward such behaviour.
“I had 10 choices, I could have appointed anyone, I decided against the advice of many people,” he revealed.
Ogolla’s appointment, however, came as a surprise to many.
The new chief of staff was previously involved in the controversial Bomas events during the 9 August 2022 General Election, which saw Ruto elected as the country’s fifth president.
Ogolla, who was then Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, was among the top officials of the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) who allegedly visited former election commissioner Wafula Chebukati during the polls to plead for a “moderation” of the results in favour of Azimio candidate Raila Odinga or to force a run-off.
Despite this, Ruto believes Ogolla’s appointment sends a strong message.
“I am so conscious that no one from Nyanza has ever been CDF since independence that it also played in my mind that I don’t want a situation where a community thinks they can’t occupy a certain position,” he said.
Ogolla’s appointment raised many eyebrows given his controversial role in the Bomas events during the 9 August 2022 General Election, which saw Ruto emerge as the country’s 5th President.
As a senior official in the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC), Ogolla was reportedly among those who lobbied former election commissioner Wafula Chebukati to ‘moderate’ the election results in favour of Azimio candidate Raila Odinga, or alternatively to call for a run-off.
Prior to his appointment to this prominent role, Ogolla served as Deputy Chief of Defence Forces.