CS Duale defends late CDF Francis Ogolla on Bomas fiasco, says he was sent by superiors

CS Duale delves into Bomas election intrigues at CDF Ogolla burial service

The late Chief of Kenya Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla got involved in the Bomas of Kenya fiasco courtesy of his superiors, Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale has said.

Speaking during Gen Ogolla’s funeral service in Alego Usonga yesterday, Mr Duale blamed some unnamed top government officials in the former regime of conspiring to interfere with the results of 2022 General Election.

According to the CS, Gen Ogolla who was the Vice Chief of Defence Forces at the time, was ordered to go to the electoral commission's national tallying centre at Bomas without being given a clear directive on what was expected of him.

“The general approached me when we took over and told me that the false allegations against him were making him to have sleepless nights and lose weight,” he said.

Mr Duale told the mourners that Gen Ogolla shared with him text messages from his superior telling him to represent him at the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) team to meet the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials.

“I am sure he would not have gone to Bomas. Some of the people who sent him are here,” he said. “The boss told him that he was not able to be part of the team comprising the powerful security organ due to other commitments.”

CDF Francis Ogallo Burial

Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Charles Kahariri with Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale (centre) and his Information and Communication counterpart Eliud Owalo during the burial of the late Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla at Ng'iya in Alego-Usonga, Siaya County on Sunday April 21, 2024.

Photo credit: Pool

In the text messages, Mr Duale, said, Gen Ogolla asked what he was going to do but was told to remain with his colleagues.

“They were kept waiting for more than five hours by former IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati,” he said.

Even after Mr Chebukati declared that he will announce the results at 3pm, Gen Ogolla was directed to remain at the tallying centre, said the CS.

He said that it was after their meeting, which lasted two-and-a-half hours, that he went to meet with President William Ruto.

Mr Duale’s revelation came a day after President Ruto talked about his meeting with Gen Ogolla.

The President said that Gen Ogolla told him: “I will not try to defend myself. What happened was wrong and you have three choices: send me to court martial, have me retire or forgive me.”

The Defence CS termed the late general as a diligent military officer who gave out his all for the sake of the country. He noted that the unfortunate scenario at Bomas forced President Ruto to make it impossible for members of NSAC to delegate to their juniors.

NSAC is chaired by the Head of Public Service and has military service commanders, police bosses, National Intelligence Service boss, principal secretaries for Interior, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General as members.

President Ruto termed Gen Ogolla as a great example of humility and integrity, and that he was a passionate commander and a patriotic citizen.

“He stood tall and deserved the appointment. I was proud of working with him. I made the right decision and if given another chance I would pick him again,” he said as he committed to fully implement the plans and policies the general had planned to effect.