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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 4 May 2015

Karangi hands over to Mwathethe

General Julius Waweru Karangi Monday officially handed over the command of the military.
The retired Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) handed over to General Samson Mwathethe at a colourful ceremony at the Department of Defence headquarters.
At the same time, Gen Karangi announced that the government had approved a salary increase for the military personnel beginning July 1.
However, the details of the salary increase were not immediately available but the retired Chief of Defence Forces said he was happy that the government finally agreed to effect the pay rise.
He noted that although he was leaving, KDF would remain in Somali.
“We crossed into Somalia and crushed Al-Shabaab. This surprised many. We will continue our presence there until peace is restored,” he said.
Gen Karangi was appointed on July 13, 2011, just three months before KDF crossed into Somalia on October 14.
Records show that he retired after serving in the military for 42 years and 108 days.
DEEPLY HONOURED
For his part, Gen Mwathethe said: “I will work very closely with other security agents and government institutions.”
He noted that he was deeply honoured and would take the job seriously.
“I take over at a particularly challenging time not just for Kenya but the entire region,” he said.
Gen Karangi said that he was leaving the military a proud man.
“I have seen the KDF grow to become one of the best. We are respected world over as attested by the nature of international assignments we are involved in,” he said.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo praised the retired General who she described as disciplined and tenacious.
“Gen Karangi is probably the most extraordinary man I have ever met. A general who led Kenya successfully into battle,” she said.
The heavily-guarded occasion was punctuated by humorous anecdotes that kept the atmosphere light and the attendants entertained.
Speaking after the service commanders had presented their gifts, which mainly included cows and goats, CS Omamo caused laughter when she noted that the soldiers wanted to “make him (Gen Karangi) a farmer”.
“Your colleagues are determined to make you a farmer. We at the ministry want you to continue reading and write memoirs and also write about Operation Linda Nchi,” she said.
On a light note, the Vice Chief of the Defence-designate, Lt-Gen Joseph K. Kasaon, reminded Gen Karangi that although they were appointed at the same time, his term was over. “The tenure of the CDF is four years, and is non-renewable,” he said.
Gen Mwathethe urged his former boss not to switch off his phone after retiring.
“We have given you a generator. Hata stima ikipotea kidogo hautakuwa mteja (Even if there is a power blackout, we should still be able to reach you).”
The Kenya Military Academy presented the retiring CDF with portraits and a generator.