President William Ruto has revealed that he appointed General Francis Ogolla as the Chief of Defence Forces, despite Ogolla’s involvement in the attempt to overturn Ruto’s 2022 presidential victory at the Bomas of Kenya. Ruto emphasized that he made the decision based on merit and against the advice of many who urged him not to reward such behavior.
During a joint media interview on Sunday, Ruto stated, “I appointed General Ogolla, he is among the people who went to Bomas to try and overturn my victory. But because when I looked at his CV, he was the best person to be the General.” He made it clear that the appointment had nothing to do with Ogolla’s previous position as Deputy CDF but was solely based on his “good track record.”
Ruto highlighted that he had multiple choices for the position and could have appointed anyone. Prior to appointing Ogolla, Ruto personally called him and assured him of the job despite his attempt to sabotage Ruto’s victory. According to Ruto, Ogolla admitted his mistake and expressed his willingness to respect Ruto’s decision.
Furthermore, Ruto acknowledged the historical significance of his decision, noting that no one from the Nyanza region had risen to the rank of CDF since independence. He wanted to ensure that the entire community did not feel excluded from occupying certain offices.
Ruto defended his appointment, stating, “Many things that are part of my system outweighed the mistakes he (Ogolla) had done. I make very sensitive and deliberate appointments.” When General Ogolla assumed office on April 29, President Ruto expressed confidence in his leadership and assured the government’s support.
It is important to mention that in August of the previous year, former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati accused General Ogolla and other senior government officials of attempting to subvert the will of the people during the announcement of the 2022 presidential election results at the Bomas of Kenya. Chebukati’s affidavit mentioned that the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) members, including General Ogolla, urged him to declare a runoff if he couldn’t announce Raila Odinga as the outright winner.
Despite these allegations, President Ruto ultimately based his decision on General Ogolla’s qualifications and commitment to the role of Chief of Defence Forces.