Cdf Francis Ogollas Last Working Tour In The North Rift

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What you need to know:
  • Dozens of schools in the North Rift have been vandalised by bandits.
  • Last week, President William Ruto ordered the military to immediately rebuild schools affected by banditry in Chesegon area so that learning can resume next term.
  • Kenya Defence Forces chief General Francis Omondi Ogolla was on his way to the Recruits Training School in Uasin Gishu County to inspect construction works at the facility after inspecting the ongoing reconstruction of schools destroyed by bandits in the troubled North Rift region shortly before his death.

    The CDF left Nairobi on Thursday morning on a working tour to visit troops deployed in the North Rift under Operation Maliza Uhalifu and inspect ongoing school rehabilitation works at Chesitet Primary School, Cheptulel Boys High School, Chepoton Primary School, Ksaa Primary School and Sablimoi Primary School aboard the Kenya Air Force Huey helicopter, it has emerged.

    Dozens of schools in the North Rift have been vandalised by bandits who have continued to wreak havoc in the region despite the deployment of a military-backed multi-agency security team to the affected areas in early 2023.

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    The government has allocated more than Sh100 million to rebuild more than 20 schools destroyed by armed criminals in the North Rift. The reconstruction has been assigned to the military.

    Last week, President William Ruto ordered the military to immediately rebuild schools affected by banditry in Chesegon area so that learning can resume next term.

    An official brief issued by President Rutoon Thursday evening said he was briefed on the security situation by a multi-agency team stationed in Chesitet, Baringo County, before proceeding to Kainuk Forward Operating Base in Turkana County, where he addressed troops.

    According to the President, he and his entourage had taken off from Kainuk for Chesegon, West Pokot County, where he launched the rehabilitation of Cheptulel Boys High School, and were heading to the Recruits Training School in Uasin Gishu County when the plane crashed shortly after take-off.

    President Ruto announced that the Kenya Air Force had formed and deployed an aviation investigation team to determine the cause of the crash.

    'This is a moment of great sadness for me as the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the Kenya Defence Forces fraternity and the nation at large. Our motherland has lost one of its most gallant generals, brave officers, servicemen and women,' President Ruto mourned.

    'General Ogolla's passing is a painful loss to me, and the grief we all feel at his passing is certainly shared by all Kenyans, especially the KDF fraternity. A distinguished four-star general has fallen in the line of duty and service to his country.

    'I extend my deepest condolences to all the families who are mourning this untimely loss and to our mourning nation. May the Almighty rest their souls in peace and grant their families fortitude in this time of deep grief. I also wish a speedy recovery to the two soldiers injured in this accident,' said the Head of State, who announced three days of national mourning from Friday.

    Five schools in the Chesegon and Cheptulel areas of West Pokot County remain closed after they were closed two years ago following continued killings in attacks by bandits in the region.

    Students at Cheptulel Secondary School have been studying at Surumben Primary School in Masol and have not returned to school since it reopened in January.

    Speaking during the commissioning of the Cemtech clinker factory in Sebit, West Pokot, on Monday last week, President Ruto had indicated that KDF would be on the ground in two days to ensure that schools in Chesegon that had been destroyed by bandits were immediately rebuilt and reopened for the next term.

    'It can't be that in the 21st century we have children who can't go to school because a few individuals are causing insecurity. We will do the same in other areas facing such challenges,' the President said.

    The President was responding to Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong, who regretted that five schools in his constituency had not reopened for two years due to banditry and urged the Head of State to deploy the KDF to rebuild them.