President Kenyatta Friday at State House Nairobi, witnessed the unveiling and swearing-in of new Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) top commanders recently appointed by the Kenya Defence Council.
Among the new commanders is Major General Fatuma Ahmed, the first Kenyan woman to attain that rank, who becomes the new Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces in charge of Personnel and Logistics.
Lt General Robert Kibochi was appointed the Vice Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces after the retirement of Lt General Joseph Kasaon. Lt General Raria Koipaton takes over as Commander of the Kenya Army while Maj General Francis Ogolla is the new Commander of the Kenya Airforce.
Addressing the military top command at the close of the swearing-in ceremony, President Uhuru said he looked forward to working with the new appointees in building the capacity of the Kenya Defence Forces.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate the new VCDF Gen Kibochi, you have had a sterling career in the army and I look forward to you using skills and vast experience you have acquired in the Kenya Army in your new role in the service of the entire KDF,” he said.
The Head of State also expressed pleasure to witness the first Kenyan female officer to ascend to the rank of commander within the Defence Forces.
“It is my pride and joy today to witness the unveiling of the first Kenyan woman as a Major General in the history of our country. I am looking to you and counting on you to be a positive role model for other women in this republic and to show and to prove to them that there is no limit for Kenyan women and that everything is possible,” he said.
The President assured the military top brass of his support saying the government will continue to offer them resources required to improve service delivery.
“I promise you that my administration will do everything in its capacity to ensure you have the resources, you have the manpower to do the job that the Kenyan people expect of you,” he said at the ceremony attended by Cabinet secretary Raychelle Omamo and Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe.
Maj General Fatuma, who has served the KDF for over 33 years, thanked the President for the opportunity to serve in her new role adding that the appointment proves that all Kenyans and especially, women, have an opportunity to offer their skills in improving the country.
“I am very happy with this new appointment because it shows that the President values the contribution of women to the development of our great nation,” she said.
At the same time, the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has made major changes to the National Police Service (NPS) by redeploying senior officers to different stations. A total of 15 officers were affected by the changes with GSU Deputy Commandant Douglas Kanja taking over as the new Commandant.
His deputy will be Mohamed Bashane, who was the Presidential Escort Unit boss. Bashane will be replaced by Recce Company Commanding Officer Josephat Mbuthia. At the same time, Francis Munyambu Central Regional Commander swapped roles with his Rift Valley counterpart Solomon Makau.
James Mwaniki will retain Nairobi Staffing Officer which he held on an acting capacity while Kisumu County Commander John Kamau will now head the Kiganjo Kenya Police College. Job Kiprotich will be redeployed to Kisumu as the County Commander from heading the Kiganjo College.
—WANGUI GITHUGO and PSCU