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General’s life revolves around prayer, fitness, love for military work

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From a village boy enthralled by the heavy boots to a commander enforcing peace in a foreign land and now sitting at the helm of Kenya Defence Forces, Chief of Defence Forces Robert Kibochi’s life at service has been a roller coaster of sorts.
In his first interview with the media since his installation, Gen Kibochi talked of his career in the military, the changing face of Kenya’s military and his promise to Kenyans.
He has pledged to defend Kenyans during his tenure, to re-energise the military to be ready for any threat that may emerge and to constantly engage his troops in training.
Typical day
A man whose typical day revolves around prayer, fitness and office work, he fell in love with the military while at Nyeri High School when he encountered soldiers in the area.
“I believe in fitness. It is fitness that gives you a chance to drive this job. I take my time with my grandson and also take care of my cows. Once you leave this job, you have to get something to do,” he said.
Gen Kibochi, who took over in May 2020, said using consistent training, his mission and vision will be how he will make the Kenya Defence Forces ready to confront any emerging threat in the vast changing environment. “My vision will be on how do I re-energise the perspectives of our ability to be mission-ready? Because if the threat is changing at a very fast pace, you have to be able to be mission-ready,” he said.
He cited Covid-19 pandemic which has hit the country and world at large saying it is a threat to the national security.
He said he is ready to prepare the medical personnel to be of assistance to the country in the fight against the pandemic.
“Today we are dealing with Covid-19. None us, and even the major world powers, knew that there is going to be this Covid-19. And Covid-19 is in itself is a threat to national security. It is a health issue that has got implications on the national security,” he said.
He said the military is currently engaged in various activities in the country to ensure stability and growth of the economy.
“Expect nothing less, but comprehensive defence cover by KDF. And it is why Kenyans pay taxes,” he said when asked about Kenyans’ expectations of his leadership. Among others, he said, KDF personnel are engaged in rehabilitating railway lines and have finished Nairobi-Nanyuki, are on the Nakuru-Kisumu and Gilgil-Nyahururu lines.
Gen Kibochi said he will rely on three components of training – premier, credibility and professionalism – in the service to deter perceived aggressors. “It is underpinned by our belief that we must continuously train. The security environment evolves over time.
It fluxes,” he said. Gen Kibochi explained the office of the CDF is a constitutional office which is critical and at the apex of the chain of command. “Leadership starts from the lowest level – corporal who is in charge of 12 members – up to the CDF who is answerable to the commander-in-chief. It is a pillar in supervising the three services – Army, Air Force and Navy – and provides defence advice to the National Security Council. The principal advisor is the CDF on military issues,” he said.
He argued for Kenya to succeed in security, it has to embrace multi-agency approach as it combines interior and intelligence sharing.
“I wanted to join the Air Force and they told me you will be in a telecommunication environment,” he said. He said being a commander in the Army gave him a chance to rise.
“In the Army, it is pride to command the core. We have core of signals, medical, infantry and engineering. Commanding your core is a critical component,” he said.
He served as Vice Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces following his elevation and appointment on  July 13, 2018.
He was enlisted into the military on May 18, 1979, and underwent officer cadets training until March 30, 1980, and commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant and posted to Signals Battalion.
He has held various command and staff appointments including his immediate former appointment as Commander of the Kenya Army, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in charge of Operations, Plans, Doctrine and Training at Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Chief of Strategic Plans and Policy, Director International Peace Support Training Centre, Col Operations Requirements (CIS) and Commander Corps of Signals.
Ranks held
Other appointments held include Chief of Staff at the Eastern Africa Standby Force, Staff Officer (SO1) Records at Headquarter Kenya Army (HQ KA), SO1 Comms HQ KA, SO1 Mobilisation DHQ, SO1 Comms CIS DHQ and SOII Operations and Training at the HQ of the Corps of Signals.
Gen Kibochi has Masters Degree of Arts in International Studies, Masters Degree in Computer Based Information Systems, Bachelors of Technology in Communication and Electronics Engineering and is currently pursuing PhD in Peace and Conflict Management. His other professional training includes National Security Studies at the National Defence College (Kenya), Army Command and Staff Course (UK), Overseas Telecoms Engineering Course (UK), Signal Officers Degree Telecommunications Engineering Course (India), Sub Unit Commanders Course, Platoon Commanders Course, Regimental Signal Officers Course among other training courses. He served with the United Nations as Commander of Kenyan Contingent in the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) from 2000–2001.


By Standard.co.ke

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Entertainment

A very pregnant Grace Msalame and daughters show off their dancing skills in new catchy video

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Grace Msalame might be in her 39th week of pregnancy but don’t be fooled. This particular lady can dance better than most slay queens parading their half danced bodies on social media.

Well, we found out about Msalame’s dancing skills through a video shared on her page. The lady who is seen rocking quite a huge baby bump went on to shake her body; and what made the video more cute is the fact that she was joined by her twin daughters.

Judging from how the girls moved, it’s obvious to see that the dancing skills run in the family; and the fact that they also look everything like their mummy – gave fans another reason to talk!

39 weeks and still strong

From how sexy the pregnant mama looks, one wouldn’t tell that she is just a few days from popping! This comes as a big surprise considering the fact that most pregnant women tend to be lazy days before having the baby.

Well, Grace Msalame is definitely not one of them and the video says it all!

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VIDEO: Take a look at the secrets to conquering The Enemy Called Average, it was Live from the Garden of Joy

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Have a look at the secrets to conquering The Enemy Called Average, it was Live from the Garden of Joy.

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Lifestyle

Agony of man walking with 3 bullets lodged in his shinbone

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On February 27, 1994, Peter Wamkota then aged 39 left his home in Nalongo village, Bungoma county, for a political meeting before proceeding to his shop, which was a few metres on his way home.

The meeting was to sensitise locals on the need to identify themselves with a newly formed political party that was to drive the region’s development agenda.

His task was simple — mobilise locals into drumming support for a two-year-old party known as Forum for Restoration of Democracy (FORD) in his capacity as the region’s chairman.

He was in perfect health and nothing appeared out of the ordinary as he attended to buyers in his wholesale shop. While he was preparing to close late in the night something strange happened.

“Three armed people in police uniform walked in, approached me and began shooting me without saying a word. Three shots were directed on my thighs, one on my chest and the other three on my legs, the gunmen walked away after accomplishing their mission,’’ he says.

After the shooting, the former (FORD) Bungoma chairman was left at his shop writhing in pain, lying in a pool of blood with seven bullets in his body. He was helped by neighbours, who rushed him to Bungoma District Hospital for treatment.

Though he doesn’t like to talk of the ordeal, pain from the bullet wounds is a constant reminder of the tragedy that visited him that day. With every passing day, the polygamous man wishes things were different.

The incident shook the quiet village of Nalongo and locals staged several protests demanding the arrest and prosecution of officers who had shot Wamkota.

After nine months at the health facility, Wamkota was out of danger but he was referred for specialised treatment at St Luke’s Hospital in Eldoret. He had three bullets still lodged in his shinbone.

Wamkota says his family, through the sale of a two-acre parcel of land, managed to raise money for his treatment. However, doctors at the facility failed to remove the metals in his body saying their removal could cause the breakage of his bones.

‘’X-ray pictures showed the bullets were inside a bone and that the only way of removal was to be transferred to hospitals outside the country, which has never been possible,’’ he says.

After he was discharged from the hospital in 1995, Wamukota was arrested and locked up at Nzoia Police Station for 13 days without trial. During the period of his incarceration, his family was barred from seeing him.

“It was very tough. Imagine you are not fully recovered and still on medication but the police are bent on torturing you. My prayer then was never to end at Kamiti Prison,” he adds.

It did not take long before he was transferred to Webuye Police Station where he spent five more days without being charged in court.

However, things got worse for Wamkoto when he was later moved to Kamiti Maximum Prison.

‘’I remained in detention for six months where I was thoroughly beaten and molested. I was tortured as a way to make me confess I was planning to overthrow the Government. My fellow prisoners died due to this harassment and beatings,’’ he notes.

In 1996, Wamukota was released and went back home to seek medication after a recommendation by prison officers who noticed his deteriorating health.

For more than two decades, the three metals in his body have been a thorn in his flesh and not even pain killers can quell the sting.

Staring at the puckered scars on his thighs, the events of that fateful day remain engraved in his mind, as pictures of those who shot him cloud his sight. As Wamukota limps out of his house each day, prodding his way to his shop in crutches in order to make a living, the 64-year-old laments his political friends deserted him at the hour of need.

“Since the shooting incident, none visited or cared to know of my health despite the massive contribution I made to the party.

“I have learnt people are only close to you in your good days. In my worst moments, my family was literarily reduced to beggars,” he laments.

Life to the father of 16 has never been the same. From struggling to do basic things like walking on his own, to meeting basic needs for his family. He has exhausted his finances and at one point turned into a beggar. Wamkota biggest regret is getting involved in the murky waters of politics.

By Standard.co.ke

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