On Saturday, Francis Ogolla, Chief of Defence Forces, apologised to President William Ruto after failing to recognise his wife, First Lady Rachel Ruto, during the Kenya Defence Forces Day celebrations in Embakasi, Nairobi.
Ogolla admitted making an error in his salutation and requested to amend it at the end of his speech.
Earlier, he only recognised the Cabinet Secretary for Defence, Aden Duale and his colleagues, and the Speaker of the Senate, Amason Kingi.
“Before I invite your excellency, I want to make an apology. When I was going through the salutations, I discovered I did not recognise her Excellency, the First Lady. I apologise to you, your excellency,” KDF boss Francis Ogolla stated while offering a salute as a gesture of respect to the President.
In his speech, the KDF boss lauded the soldiers for their unwavering efforts in maintaining peace in the country.
“Our observance of KDF day is not a recent tradition. It holds a deep-rooted significance in our national memory. The seeds of this commemoration were sown back in the year October 2011 when our soldiers launched Operation Linda Nchi,” he noted.
“In the phase of daunting challenges, recognising the importance of their sacrifice and to engrave the monumental operation into the annals of our history.”
His sentiments were shared by Ruto, who also praised the KDF for showing patriotism, unity, perseverance and resilience in their duties. The president, however, steered away from the error and apology issued by the KDF boss.
“It is our duty and privilege to use every opportunity to express our gratitude as citizens of Kenya to you, our men and women in uniform and very specifically, Kenya Defence Forces,” he explained.
“On behalf of Kenyans, I acknowledge you for you noble sacrifice, silent labour, quiet heroism and unseen effort on keeping peace. It is never easy but go forward bravely and get the job done, one way or another.”
During the event, President Ruto awarded five KDF soldiers for performing exemplary duties in the field.
President William Ruto inspects a guard of honour mounted by Kenya Air Force at Parliament on September 29, 2022.