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Ruto defends appointing Gen Ogolla as KDF boss despite Bomas drama

President Ruto acknowledged that he was sharing highly classified information but chose to explain his decision on why he rewarded General Ogolla despite being mentioned among those accused of trying to overturn his win at Bomas of Kenya

President William Ruto presided over the swearing in ceremony of General Francis Ogolla as the Chief of Defence at State House, Nairobi on April 29, 2023

President William Ruto explained why he appointed General Francis Ogolla as the Chief of Defence despite being mentioned among those accused of trying to overturn his win during the hotly contested presidential election in 2022.

Speaking during an interview with the media at State House on Sunday, May 14, President Ruto said he had a candid conversation with General Ogolla over the alleged plot and decided to promote him regardless.

The commander-in-chief, however, explained that the KDF boss’ track record and qualifications were unmatched, making Ogolla the best person to head Kenya’s military.

Ruto was clearing the air on claims that his administration was making appointments on the basis of politics not competence.

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I called him and I 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 will give you the job,” the president said.

Ruto further stated that he had been presented with 10 names to choose from and decided to promote General Ogolla against the advice of many of his allies.

He said many people told him not to reward the KDF boss because of the Bomas issue.

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During the interview, the president acknowledged that he was sharing highly classified information but chose to explain his decision.

Yes, he may have made a mistake, maybe because the commander-in-chief at that time told him what to do,” Ruto said, adding that the KDF boss admitted he had made a mistake.

The head of state recalled that in his candid conversation, General Ogolla told him he was ready for whatever decision the president would make regarding his career.

I have no defence, you do with me whatever you want. I cannot defend what I did, it was wrong,” Ruto quoted what General Ogolla said to him.

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Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati and ex-commissioner Abdi Guliye alleged that Gen Ogolla was part of a delegation from the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) that attempted to influence the presidential election results in favour of Raila Odinga.

In their sworn statements presented to the Supreme Court during the presidential petition, Chebukati and Prof. Guliye claimed that NSAC asserted that a result unfavorable to Odinga would lead to nationwide turmoil.

They further alleged that NSAC dispatched a team comprising Gen. Ogolla, former Principal Administrative Secretary in the Office of President Kennedy Kihara, ex-Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, and former police chief Hillary Mutyambai to the national tallying center at Bomas of Kenya.

NSAC, in its response, refuted the allegations but acknowledged holding a meeting with Chebukati at Bomas of Kenya on August 15.

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Kihara explained that the NSAC team only went to Bomas to discuss security concerns related to delays in the transmission of presidential election results before updating the IEBC chair on Kenya's safety situation.

The Supreme Court, in its verdict that upheld President Ruto's victory, did not make any definitive conclusions regarding the allegations.

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