- Ruto challenged Ogolla to ensure the professional standard of the military is observed.
- Ogolla, the former vice chief of defence forces (VCDF) was named Friday to succeed Kibochi.
President William Ruto on Saturday explained why he picked Francis Ogolla as the new Chief of Defence Forces (CDF).
According to Ruto, Ogolla's experience spanning over 39 years saw him promoted to the high office in the country’s military to replace Robert Kibochi who has retired.
"In considering your appointment, I assessed your background, where you have come from, what you have done, your journey in the military, and I am satisfied that you made it to the office," said Ruto.
Ruto challenged Ogolla to ensure the professional standard of the military is observed.
Ogolla, the former vice chief of defence forces (VCDF) was named Friday to succeed Kibochi.
His appointment came as a surprise to many having been dragged into a political succession controversy putting his job on the line.
Speculation was rife that he was likely to be dropped after being adversely mentioned to be among the high-ranking state officials who were at the Bomas national tallying center during the August 9, 2022 presidential contest.
Former IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati alleged that the VCDF was among the top National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) officials who visited him to plead with commissioners to “moderate” the results in favour of the Azimio candidate Raila Odinga or force a run-off.
Speaking during a brief handing-over ceremony at Statehouse, the head of state reminded him that Kenya has a tradition of professional military urging him to safeguard it.
"It is my expectation that the professional standard of the Kenyan military will be observed under your leadership. Kenya has a tradition of a military that is professional, that is outstanding," he stated.
The military, he noted, has integrity that serves not just the people of Kenya but the region and the globe.
During the ceremony, other senior officers of other ranks took their oath of office.
They are Major General David Kipkemboi, Maj Gen Stephen Mutuku, Maj Gen John Maison, Maj Gen Abdulkadir Burji, Brigadier Anthony Rotich and Brigadier Alfred Muihuri.
Warning against breeding ethnicity or bias, Ruto called on the new team to strive to attain higher standards set by their predecessors.
"We will expect you to serve the country as the foremost defence of the country against external threats," he noted.
President Ruto also heaped praises on Kibochi describing him as a great leader who has served in both difficult and good times by demonstrating leadership.
"We are proud of your service. As you take up your other responsibilities in retirement, I wish you the very best and I am confident that you still have time to contribute to the development of our nation even in your next phase," Ruto said.