2022 elections: Ruto, Raila differ on night Bomas visit at Gen Ogolla’s memorial

President Ruto: Gen Ogolla admitted to visiting Bomas during tallying of 2022 elections results

President William Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga on Saturday differed on whether General Francis Ogolla was part of a team that went to Bomas of Kenya to try and overturn the 2022 presidential election results.

Mr Odinga first fired the salvo saying that Gen Ogolla could not have contemplated making such a move.

"He was a simple man. Because of the way Ogolla died, there are so many rumours flying around that we want a thorough investigation into the way he died to put the rumours to rest," started Mr Odinga.

He went on: “General Ogolla never contemplated going to Bomas to tell Mr Wafula Chebukati to overturn the outcomes of the 2022 election. I know him. We want that put to rest so that he can rest in eternal peace.”

Later President Ruto said Gen Ogolla admitted to doing so at a private meeting after he was sworn in.

“There was one problem with what happened on the 15th of August in the Bomas of Kenya. I called Gen Ogolla to a meeting and when we concluded the meeting, he told me "I am not going to try to defend myself and you have three choices either ... have me resign or forgive me I went home and reflected on what Ogolla had told me.,” he said.

Need to be careful

“I was told you need to be careful about who you appoint in this process. I made a conscious deliberate decision that we were going to make a different trajectory as a country. I made up my mind that General Ogolla deserved to be the CDF.  It is an appointment that I’m proud of. He stood on the soldiers in exemplary public service.”

President Ruto and Mr Odinga were referring to claims by former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati that on August 15, 2022, Gen Ogolla (then serving as Vice Chief of Defence Forces) tried to force him to declare Azimio La Umoja candidate Raila Odinga the winner or force a re-run.

Mr Chebukati alleged that Gen Ogolla was accompanied by then Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju, then head of public service Joseph Kinyua, then Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, then Principal Administrative Secretary in the Office of President Kennedy Kihara and then Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto.

Later, President Ruto elevated Ogolla to a general and appointed him the CDF after the retirement of Robert Kibochi in April 2023.

The President has insisted that he made the appointment after disregarding the advice of people in his inner circle who had wanted him to retire Ogolla.

He insisted that Gen Ogolla was best suited for the job, something that he repeated at the Saturday memorial service.

"I looked at this man's curriculum vitae and decided, against the wish of many, that he was the most suitable," Dr Ruto said.