Ruto: Ogolla tried to overturn my victory but I still gave him CDF job

Written by on 15 May 2023

President William Ruto said he picked General Francis Ogolla as the new Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) against the advice of many people.

Speaking during a media roundtable interview on Sunday night, May 14, 2023, Ruto said he confronted Ogolla about trying to overturn his election victory before picking him as the new CDF.

Ruto revealed he had a lengthy conversation with the new Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) boss where he told him that despite what he had done, he remained the most qualified to take over from retired CDF Robert Kibochi.

“I appointed General Ogolla. He was 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 become general, I called him and sat him down, I told him, my friend, you went to Bomas to try and overturn my victory but because you are the best person to be general, I’m going to give you the job. Many things that are part of my system outweighed the mistake he had done,” Ruto said.

Ruto noted that Ogolla could have been acting on orders from the former Commander-in-Chief to overturn his victory.

“I also must be sensitive. What exercised my mind? This gentleman has a very good track record and in fact. This gentleman made a mistake maybe because the commander in chief at that time told him what to do,” he said.

Ruto further disclosed that Ogolla told him to do whatever he wished with him when he confronted him about trying to overturn his election victory.

“And when I talked to him he told me ‘I have no defence, you do with me what you want. What I did was wrong,” Ruto said.

The president added that his decision to appoint Ogolla as the new CDF shows that he values merit over nepotism.

National Security Committee

Ogolla was among the individuals in the Nationals Security Council accused of attempts to overturn Ruto’s victory in the August 9, 2022, presidential poll.

Outgoing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati in his presentation to the Supreme Court during the hearing of the presidential petition claimed that Lieutenant General Francis Omondi Ogolla (then Vice Chief of Defence Forces) asked him to alter the results of the election to force a run-off in the event he was unable to declare Raila Odinga the winner.

The IEBC chair noted that Ogolla with other members of the then National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) which included then Principal Administrative Secretary at the office of President Kennedy Kihara, then Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, former Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Lieutenant General Ogolla visited him at the IEBC national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya and asked him to moderate the presidential election result.

Former Attorney General Kihara Kariuki however denied claims that NSAC members tried to prevail upon Chebukati to alter the results of the presidential election.

Defence CS

Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale said that Ruto would deal with KDF officers involved in election meddling.

The matter was raised by Belgut Member of Parliament (MP) Nelson Koech when Duale faced the parliamentary vetting panel at Town Hall on October 17, 2022.

Duale while responding to the Belgut MP likened the attempt by Ogolla and others to the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Congress by supporters of retired President Donald Trump.

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