General Ogolla buried at his Siaya home

Gen Ogolla was buried without a coffin, with only a piece of cloth covering his body in accordance with his wish
General Ogolla buried at his Siaya home
President William Ruto and First Lady Rachel lay a wreath during the burial of Military chief General Francis Ogolla at his Siaya home./PHOTO COURTESY

Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Francis Ogolla was buried at his Ng’iya home in Siaya on Sunday with full military honours at a ceremony attended by President William Ruto and top dignitaries.

Gen Ogolla was buried without a coffin, with only a piece of cloth covering his body in accordance with his wish.

The late General Ogolla envisioned a simple burial akin to Muslim practices, where he will be wrapped in sheets, a decision made to alleviate what he described as unnecessary pressure on the family,” Gen Ogolla’s elder brother Canon Hezekiah Oduor said ahead of the burial.

The military chief who died Thursday in a helicopter crash alongside 9 other officers was buried on Sunday, 72 hours later as per his dictates to family.

Ogolla was accorded a 19-gun salute in an elaborate ceremony attended by the president, family, close friends, senior government officials and military commanders.

It began with the military reveille, traditionally used to wake soldiers for duty, but in death, appropriated to mean hope in the afterlife.

President William Ruto has assured of comprehensive investigations into the chopper crash that killed the military chief and 9 others.

I know the KDF are as concerned as the family and every Kenyan just as I am and I want to assure Kenyans that they will ensure thorough investigations to establish what happened,” he told mourners in Siaya on Sunday during the burial of General Ogolla who was buried 72 hours after the Thursday accident in accordance with his wish.

General Ogolla who was named Chief of Defence Forces in April 2023 died in a helicopter crash in 18 April, 2024 alongside 9 other officers.

Leaders from Nyanza, led by Siaya Governor James Orengo and Senator Oburu Odinga have called for thorough investigations into the cause of the helicopter crash so as to end any speculations.

As a community here (Luo Nyanza), we have suffered tragedies where some of our sons have been assassinated. We had the likes of Tom Mboya, Robert Ouko and others and that is why we are asking for thorough investigations,” he said moments after General Ogolla’s son Joel said the family was satisfied that it was an accident.

General Ogolla buried at his Siaya home
The late General Francis Ogolla’s widow Aileen (centre) flanked by her son Joel and daughter during the military chief’s burial in Siaya./PHOTO COURTESY

To Ogolla’s son, please be patient, let us wait for investigations,” Oburu said.

And when the president stood to speak, he acknowledged that the dark past of Kenya where several people and leaders have been killed through extrajudicial killings or executions, but vowed “that will never happen under my watch.”

I made a commitment because it is true we have lost many Kenyans to extrajudicial Killings and executions in the past,” he said, “and without any fear of contradictions, I want to state here that there will never be extrajudicial killings or executions under my watch. We will never have bodies of people in River Yala.”

He was referring to bodies of people recovered from River Yala in the previous regime, who were suspected to have been executed by police, as documented by the human rights organisations.

Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka urged the government to make public the outcome of investigations so as to put the matter to rest.

Generals don’t die. They fade away. But here we have a General who crashed in a helicopter. We urge the government to make public the report of the investigations,” Kalonzo said.

Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua too said “it is important that the investigations are made public.”

Siaya Governor James Orengo said the government must assure Kenyans that an open investigation will be conducted.

I want to state without fear of contradiction that as the Luo nation we have mourned a lot of great heroes. There was Tom Mboya, Robert Ouko and others and today we are mourning General Ogolla,” he said, “so all we are asking is the truth to come out.”


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