Facts about new Chief Defence Forces General Charles Kahariri 

Following the death of the Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla, his deputy  Lt Gen Charles Muriu Kahariri  has been promoted to the rank of general and named the Chief Defence Forces.

CDF Gen Francis Ogolla died in a helicopter crash on Thursday, April 18 in the Sindar area, Kaben location, Tot division, in Elgeyo Marakwet.

Kenya Airforce commander Maj Gen John Omenda was promoted and named the VCDF.

Maj Gen Fatuma Ahmed was named the commander Kenya Airforce to succeed Maj Gen Omenda. She had been at the National Defence College where she was a senior Directing Staff Air.

This follows a meeting of the Defense Council under chairmanship of defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale.

Quick Facts about the New Chief Defence Forces General Kahariri 

Major General Kahariri was promoted to by President William Ruto to rank of Lieutenant General and appointed the Vice Chief of Defence Forces on March 09, 2024.

He succeeded Lieutenant General Jonah Maina, whose term has ended after 42 years in service.

He enlisted in the Kenya Defence Forces on 03 Apr 1987 and was commissioned as an Officer (Second Lieutenant) on 15 April 1988.

Following his commissioning, he underwent further training in the United Kingdom before serving in various capacities on board ships within the Kenya Navy Fleet.

President William Ruto with late Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla (right) and Vice chief of Defence Forces Lt General Charles Kahariri on March 9, 2024.

Throughout his illustrious career spanning over three decades, Lt Gen Kahariri has held a range of leadership, command and management positions.

These include roles such as Commanding Officer – Kenya Navy Ships Mamba, Madaraka, and Umoja, as well as Commanding Officer at Kenya Navy Manda Base.

He later served in key appointments like Squadron Commander, Commander of the Kenya Navy Fleet, and Deputy Commander of the Kenya Navy.

He thereafter transitioned to serve at the prestigious National Defence College as Senior Directing Staff (Navy), Deputy Commandant (Military) and Commandant. Notable operational assignments include serving as the Maritime Component Commander for “Operation Linda Nchi” and as the Task Force Commander for “Operation Sledge Hammer” during the capture of Kismaiyu.

Additionally, he has represented Kenya as the National Focal Person for the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and the Djibouti Code of Conduct. He also served on the National Task Forces for the Delimitation of Kenya’s Exclusive Economic Zones and Delimitation of Kenya’s Extended Continental Shelf.

Lt Gen Kahariri has completed numerous local and international courses to build his capacity and enhance his skills in the dispensation of Service duties.

Amongst these courses are the International Midshipman Course (UK), Long Navigation Course (India), Management and Strategic Planning Course, Naval Command Course (USA), Joint Campaign Planning, Flag Level Combined Maritime Component Command Course (Italy), Senior Strategic Leadership Course (UK) and Executive Development Course (University of N/Carolina, USA).

He also holds a Diploma in Strategic and Security Studies from the United States Naval War College.

Lt Gen Kahariri is a laureate of various honours and awards with Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) being his most recent accolade.

He is married and blessed with three children and a grandson.