New Chief of Defence Forces takes over as General Mwathethe retires

New Chief of Defence Forces takes over as General Mwathethe retires
The outgoing CDF Gen Samson Mwathethe hands over the he KDF flag to Gen. Robert Kibochi at the Defence Headquarters. PHOTO| COURTESY

Outgoing Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Samson Mwathethe has officially handed over military control to his successor General Robert Kibochi.

The change of guard was held at Department of Defence (DoD) headquarters where General Mwathethe handed over the KDF flag to Gen. Kibochi as well as signing the change of command certificate.

General Mwathethe, who served as CDF since his appointment in 2015, was bid farewell by the military in a colourful ceremony complete with a 17-gun salute fired by the Kenya Navy.

Before the handover, the outgoing military boss visited the Kenya Army Headquarters to bid farewell the Kenya Army Personnel.

Mwathethe’s career in the military spans 42 years having joined the forces in 1978. His term as Chief of Defence Forces had expired in 2019, but President Kenyatta extended it for a year term.

“I’m immensely proud to have served as Chief of Defence Forces. This was with no doubt the highlight of my long career in the military service a job that is at times stressful and uncertain,” said General Mwathethe in his farewell speech.

“I wish to more sincerely thank His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for the opportunity he gave me to serve the nation in the capacity as CDF since April 17, 2015 and the KDF fraternity. It has been an honour.”

Earlier President Uhuru Kenyatta lauded General Mwathethe for his role as Chief of Defence Forces saying he had rendered exemplary service to the country.

“Since your appointment as the Chief of Defence Forces five years ago, we have seen significant expansion in our military and enviable improvement in the defence capability of our forces; thus giving Kenyans confidence that their borders are well protected from any external aggression.

“During your tenure, we detected and expunge early enough a number of plans by those who do not mean well for our country, in good time,” said President Kenyatta when he announced Mwathethe’s successor last month.

The President also promoted Lt-Gen Levi Mghalu and Jimson Mutai to the ranks of Major General and appointed them Vice Chief of Defence Forces designate and Commander of the Kenya Navy designate respectively.

The incoming KDF boss General Robert Kibochi, who served as General Mwathethe’s deputy, is set to be sworn in on May 11 at State House alongside the newly promoted military chiefs.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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