Kenya’s senior-most military woman service-person, Brigadier Fatuma Ahmed, has been sworn in as Major General, becoming the first woman to occupy the rank in Kenya’s history.
Ahmed was also the first woman in Kenya’s military to attain the rank of Brigadier in August 2015.
Speaking during her installation on Friday, President Kenyatta challenged Major General Ahmed to serve as an example for other women in the force to emulate.
“It is my pride and joy today to have the first Kenyan woman as a challenged Major General in Kenya,” the Head of State said during a swearing in ceremony at State House where three other servicemen were installed as military chiefs.
“I’m looking to you and counting on you to be a positive role model to other women of this republic and to show and prove to them that there’re no limits for the Kenyan women,” he urged.
President Kenyatta appointed Army Commander, Lieutenant General Robert Kibochi, as the new Vice Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
Lt. Gen. Kibochi who has served as the Army Commander since July 28, 2016, will take over the position of Vice Chief from Lieutenant General Joseph Kasaon who has served in the position since April 17, 2015.
Lt. Gen. Kasaon who has served in the KDF since commissioning in 1976 is set to proceed on retirement.
Major General Walter Koipaton will take over as the new Army Commander from Lt. Gen. Kibochi.
The President also installed Major General Francis Ogolla as the new Air Force Commander to take over from Major General Sameal Thuita who is also retiring from service.
Maj. Gen Thuita has been at the helm of the Kenya Air Force since August 2014.
The Head of State commended servicemen for commitment to duty saying they have been a unifying factor in the nation.
“You’ve been a true and clear picture of what Kenya is. You bring the Kenyan nation together. You’re men and women from different parts of this country but you serve regardless of your tribe, religion, and colour. You’re the vanguard of the defence of this country,” President Kenyatta said.
The swearing in ceremony was attended by Defence Cabinet Secretary Amb Raychelle Omamo, Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe, and the retiring commanders.