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My father knew his time was almost up - General Ogolla's son

Joel Omondi Rabuku, son of Francis Ogolla, discloses why he thinks the General might have been aware his time was almost up.

A screengrab image of Joel Omondi Rabuku eulogizing his father, the late General Francis Ogolla

On April 20, 2024, the Ulinzi Sports Complex became a solemn ground for the Military Honours and Memorial Service of Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Francis Ogolla.

The event drew high-profile politicians, friends, and family members, all gathered to pay their respects to the late CDF.

During the service, the late CDF's son, Joel Omondi Ogolla, delivered a heartfelt eulogy, shedding light on his father's humble wishes for a simple farewell.


Despite the presence of high-end politicians and dignitaries, General Ogolla's wishes prevailed.

His son revealed that the casket containing his father's body cost a mere Sh6,800, reflecting the late CDF's desire for simplicity even in death.

Joel Omondi Ogolla emphasised that his father's essence and spirit had departed, leaving behind only a mortal shell.


“The casket he's lying in is a very simple mbao ambayo hata haijapigwa randa. I've just been told it cost Sh6,800. Hii mambo mingi ya casket ya ati sijui mtu mkubwa na expensive casket ya sijui one million. His essence and spirit are no longer with us. This is a body which he used to serve the country and now it's finished. Even Jesus himself was wrapped in a sheet and put in a tomb," he said.

In alignment with his father's wishes and in homage to biblical tradition, General Ogolla's body would be laid to rest without a coffin, wrapped in sheets, and returned to the earth from whence it came.

"Right now he's wearing the uniform he donned for number one functions but tomorrow we will extract him from the casket, wrap him in sheets, and lay him in the ground so he can return to dust as quickly as possible just the way he wanted it. Just following the man he loved the most Jesus," he said.


General Ogolla's son highlighted his father's unwavering commitment to his country and his family.

Despite his immense responsibilities as CDF, General Ogolla remained grounded in his faith and his dedication to securing Kenya's freedom from external threats.

"He understood that his position was temporary and it would come to an end. Leading up to his death, he almost knew that his time was up. Despite having very many plans for his family and the military. He said my son I won't always be here so you will need to take care of my wife and my other children," he said.


His son emphasised that General Ogolla's ultimate wish was for Kenya to be secure and free from external influence, a wish he pursued until his final moments.

"His biggest wish was for Kenya to be secure and free from external influence... He died doing that. There is no greater death for him," Omondi added.

Another aspect of General Ogolla's life that was brought to light during the memorial service was his steadfast Christian faith.


His son revealed that General Ogolla always kept a Bible with him, considering it his most cherished possession.

As General Ogolla's family and loved ones laid him to rest at his home in Siaya on April 21, they did so with a profound sense of loss but also with a deep appreciation for his legacy of service, humility, and faith.


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