CDF Ogolla to be buried in a simple ceremony according to his wish

The late Chief of Defence Forces Francis Ogolla. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

100 years birthday celebrations of Mzee Joel Oyeyo the father of the late General Francis Ogolla will continue on Saturday even as the family continues with the burial preparations.

The family of the late General Ogolla had planned to celebrate his father's birthday on Saturday and consecration of the St.Thomas Nduru Anglican Church on Sunday.

General Ogolla was supposed to travel to the village to help with preparations for both events today according to family members.

The family has announced that the late General will be buried on Sunday in a simple ceremony in accordance to his wishes.

His eldest brother Canon Hezekiah Oduor told The Standard that the family in the village had received communication from the family in Nairobi where the son is the chairman of the committee working on funeral plans.

"The decision to be buried on Sunday was his wish. He had informed the family that upon his demise he be buried in 72 hours in a simple ceremony," said Canon Oduor.

Ogolla's elder sister Perez Onyango, who confirmed the burial plans, said her brother told her that he should be buried between 48 and 72 hours.

"He knew that I am problematic and therefore warned me against complicating his burial. As a family, we respect that wish," said the sister.

Oduor who stayed with the late General Ogolla when he was in primary school described him as a loving ,humble and generous man.

He described him as very respectful and a man of his words.

"He gave us respect as his elders. He left the position of the general at the gate. His position never affected us much. He washed dishes at home and it is something People could not believe because of his position," he recalls.

Canon Oduor said they talked over the phone and he said he was preparing to travel to Kisumu and then to his village home to plan for the two events.

The late General Ogolla went to Nduru primary school in Alego Usonga upto class six before he joined his brother Canon Oduor in Homabay at Lala primary, where he was a staff.

"He passed KCPE, proceeded to Kisumu technical school and passed well, then moved to Amukura boys where he did A levels.He started his first  work at price water company then to university and  then joined forces as a cadet," added Canon  Oduor.

He added: “He was   very generous, listened to problems affecting villagers. He helped church and made sure the church was completed and gave them a water borehole. He rewarded the schools he went to. When the news of his death broke yesterday, people came in numbers to mourn him because he had no boundaries.

In our community, people would never give money because of fear of witchcraft but he defied that and gave to everyone."

Ogolla was confirmed dead alongside nine other military personnel following a KDF chopper crash at Sindar, Kaben in Elgeyo Marakwet on Thursday afternoon.

The nine include Brigadier Swale Saidi, Colonel Duncan Keittany, Lieutenant Colonel David Sawe, Major George Benson Magondu, Captain Sora Mohamed, Captain Hillary Litali, Senior Sergeant John Kinyua Mureithi, Sergeant Cliphonce Omondi, and Sergeant Rose Nyawira.

Leaders including Governor's James Orengo,Anyang Nyong'o,MP Opiyo Wandayi and Siaya Speaker George Okode sent their condolences messages describing the late General Ogolla as a dedicated Millitary officer.

Governor Orengo termed it a great loss to the county of Siaya and Kenya.

Orengo described the late Ogolla as a dedicated military officer and gentleman from the great county of Siaya.

"He served this country with honour. He embodied all the qualities of a Kenyan hero, and his journey was the quintessential Kenyan history," said Orengo.

In his statement, the governor added that Ogolla paved the way for so many and led by example in a lifetime dedicated to service.

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o in his condolence message, said the late Ogolla  was set to pay him a courtesy call in his noffice at 9 am.

 "We have lost one of the Finest Soldiers and Pilots in the history of this country. Its sad he has died at a prime age of his career"Nyong'o eulogosed him.

Siaya County Assembly Speaker George Okode eulogized the late Ogolla as a devoted, disciplined and diligent public servant who rose to the ranks to become the Nation's highest ranking military officer.

Okode, who joined the rest of Kenyans in mourning the tragic loss, said the country has lost an exceptional man of great character.

"Ogolla was a pursuer of excellence. A true patriot who dedicated his life to securing the country. His unflinching commitment to our nation's safety and security will not be forgotten," stated Okode.

The ACK Bondo Diocese Bishop David Kodia described General Ogola a devoted Churchman.

Alego-Usonga MP Samuel Atandi also mourned Sergeant Cliphonce Omondi, who perished in the chopper accident as a hardworking officer who had a bright future.

"He was dedicated to his duties and in him, Kaugagi Udenda community has lost a great future," said Atandi, adding that the demise of two officers in one constituency was a big loss.

Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi remembered Gen Ogolla as a friend and distinguished military personnel.

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