The outgoing Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Samson Mwathethe handed power to his successor General Robert Kibochi in a colourful military ceremony held on Friday at the Department of Defence Headquarters, Nairobi.
Gen. Mwathethe received 17 gun salute as he handed over the Kenya Defence Forces flag and change of command certificate to Gen. Kibochi in an event attended by Attorney General Paul Kihara, Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, her Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo among top-ranking government officers.
“I am pleased to extend our collective best wishes to Gen Mwathethe. I am proud to take over from you having had great mentorship from you over the years,” Kibochi lauded the outgoing CDF for what he termed 42 years of great service.
The ceremony was also marked by the launch of a KDF book, War for Peace, which details the force’s efforts to restore peace in neighbouring Somalia as part of the Amisom peace mission and protecting our borders.
President Uhuru Kenyatta promoted Kibochi to a general in changes announced on April 30 and consequently appointed him the Chief of Defence Forces effective May 11, 2020.
“I take this opportunity to thank you, Gen. Samson Jefwa Mwathethe, EGH, MBS, DCO, NDC (K), PSC’(uk), for the exemplary service you have rendered to our country, in your capacity as the Chief of Defence Forces. 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,” said President Kenyatta.
Mwathethe was appointed to the position in May 2015 to replace General Julius Karangi. His four-year tenure was supposed to end last year, but President Kenyatta extended it by one year.
In the new changes, the President also promoted Major General Levi Mghalu to a Lt. General and Brigadier Jimson Mutai to Major General.
Lt. Gen. Levi Mghalu has been appointed as Vice Chief of Defence Forces and Maj. Gen. Jimson Mutai appointed Commander of the Kenya Navy, both to assume their positions on May 11.