President Kenyatta has today 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 newly appointed commanders is Major General Fatuma Ahmed, the first Kenyan woman soldier to attain that rank who is the new Assistant Chief of the Defence Forces incharge of Personnel and Logistics.
In the new appointments, Lt. General Robert Kibochi has been 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 Kenyatta congratulated the new commanders for their appointments saying he looks forward to working with them in building the capacity of the Kenya Defence Forces to continue serving its mandate.
“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 to your new role in the service of the entire KDF as the VCDF,” said the President.
On the elevation of Major General Fatuma Ahmed, President Kenyatta noted that it is an honour to witness the first Kenyan army officer in the country’s history ascend to such a high ranking position within the Kenya Defence Forces.
“Major General, let me begin by saying that 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,” noted President Kenyatta who is the Commander-In-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces told Major General Fatuma.
The Head of State added that he expects the appointment of a woman to the position of Maj. General to be an inspiration to all Kenyan women
At the swearing-in ceremony attended by the Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe, the President said he expects newly appointed senior officers to deploy their skills, knowledge and long experience in the forces to building a strong and modern force.
President Kenyatta assured the military top brass of his support saying his 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,” said the President.
The Commander-In-Chief applauded the Kenya Defence Forces for being a true model of the Kenyan society where all individuals serve the country with honour and loyalty despite coming from different backgrounds.
“To the entire KDF team, let me say how proud and how humbled I am to serve with you, you are a true and clear picture of what Kenya is. You bring the Kenyan nation together, you are men and women from different parts of this country but you serve the nation regardless of your tribe, your religion, your colour. You serve faithfully and diligently the 42 million people of this country,” said President Kenyatta.
The President also thanked the retiring Lt. General Joseph Kasaon and Major General Samuel Nganga Thuita for their exemplary service to the country saying he looks forward to working with them in other capacities to develop the country.
Speaking to PSCU after her elevation, the newly appointed Maj. General Fatuma thanked the President for the opportunity to serve in her new role saying it is an honour for all Kenyans.
She further said 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,” observed Maj. General Fatuma who has served the KDF for over 33 years.
Also present during the swearing-in ceremony which was led by the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, were Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and other senior Government and military officials.