Ruto appoints Fatuma Ahmed as Kenya’s first female air force commander

Adebari Oguntoye
Adebari Oguntoye
Fatuma Ahmed

President William Ruto has appointed Fatuma Ahmed as the first female commander in the Kenyan Air Force.

Ruto made the appointment on Thursday in a series of military promotions and changes following the death of the country’s defence chief in a helicopter crash.

Ahmed first made headlines in August 2015 when she was promoted to brigadier, a post no woman had held in the male-dominated Kenyan military.

According to Standard Media, a local newspaper, the new air force commander joined the armed forces by “accident.”.

The report said she was returning home from secondary school after completing final examinations in 1983 and passed by a stadium near the military offices conducting a recruitment exercise.

After making inquiries, Ahmed joined the military the following year as an officer cadet.

She is also the first female soldier to attain the rank of a major general after being promoted from brigadier and appointed assistant chief of the defence forces in charge of personnel and logistics.

Ahmed replaces John Omenda who has been promoted to vice chief of the defense forces and to the rank of lieutenant general.

Ruto also appointed Charles Kahariri as the nation’s new defence chief.

Kahariri previously served as his predecessor’s deputy, who was about to mark 40 years of military service before his death.


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