General Robert Kibochi has officially taken over the KDF as its chief succeeding Rtd Gen Samson Mwathethe who served for five years, having succeeded Gen Julius Karangi.
The swearing fete was done at State House in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the commander in chief of the Kenya Defence Forces.
Before taking over from Gen. Mwathethe, Kibochi had served as the vice chief of the forces.
The new chief was accompanied by his wife Tabitha Kariuki.
Speaking at the event, President Kenyatta lauded the KDF and -generally the Defence docket for exemplarily outdoing itself in upholding professionalism and constitutionalism in the way transfer of power was conducted.
“I commend the Cabinet Secretary and the Ministry of Defence team for ensuring a seamless transition. This signals our maturity in governance and a strong belief in the civil transfer of power, as envisaged in our constitution,” the President said.
The President added that the seamless transition emphasizes on the values of rules and procedures, calling on other state agencies to emulate on the standards set by KDF.
President Kenyatta is hopeful that the new chief will steadily steer the important organ continuing from where General Mwathethe left. He noted with great concern the threats the country and the whole of E. African region has been subjected to including terrorism, locusts invasion, COVID-19 etc, being optimistic the team under General Kibochi will act in the best interest of the nation and her citizens.
“I am confident that you will steer our Defence Forces with steady hands. You take over from General Samson Mwathethe, who has served this nation selflessly, with loyalty and dedication. I expect no less from the incoming team and neither do the citizens of this country,”
“You are taking the mantle of leadership at the KDF at a time when the country, region, and the world is confronted by a number of threats and risks. Apart from the terrorist threat that faces us, we are confronting Covid-19, the floods, and the locusts’ invasion,” the President told Gen. Kibochi.
The President was also grateful to General Mwathethe for his service saying the retired CDF had served the nation selflessly, with loyalty and dedication.
“General Mwathethe, as you revert to being a civilian, as a retired CDF, you must do so with pride because you have served well. I also hope that you will remain available to your colleagues, whenever they may need your counsel,” President Kenyatta said.
The recently appointed military chiefs among them Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lt. Gen Levi Mghalu and Commander of the Kenya Navy, Major General Jimson Mutai were also sworn in at the colorful military ceremony attended by Defence Cabinet Secretary Dr. Monica Juma, outgoing CDF General Samson Mwathethe and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai.
As part of their contribution to the national fight against Coronavirus, KDF donated Shs 102 million to the Kenya Covid-19 Fund, money raised from voluntary salary cuts within the military.
Head of Public Service Dr. Joseph Kinyua conducted the swearing-in ceremony.
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