By Miftaudeen Raji
Ahead on the August 9 general elections, Lieutenant Gen. Peter Njiru has officially taken over as the new Kenya Army Commander.
Njiru, who was sworn in on July 27, 2022 in a ceremony graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the State House, is replacing Lieutenant General Walter Koipaton.
Koipaton retires on completion of four years of duty since his appointment on July 13, 2018.
In his last speech, Koiatom said, “I’m joining a working system and will continue with the same trajectory Kenya Army has been following under the leadership of General Koipaton,” Gen. Njiru said.
“My comfort is the experience General Njiru has in diverse fields makes him capable to take charge in the current dynamic and conflict defence and security environment.
“As I leave, I’ll be commanding my family. My wife will be my deputy. At this old age, I cannot take new responsibilities,” he said.
Admonishing the soldiers, Koipaton said integrity and honesty are the greatest armories they’ll need to grow.
He said, “I urge you to take care of your family because as you leave service, they will be the only people who will be with you.”
Incoming Njiru is welcomed inside the Defence Headquarters in Nairobi on August 8, 2022.
The handover ceremony was held at the Ngao Garden at the headquarters of the Department of Defence.
The outgoing and incoming commanders inspected the old and the new guards after delivering their speeches.
After a parade of soldiers, the two will exchange the Kenya Army flags and plant symbolic trees.
“I came in as a young man with Afro bell-bottoms and platforms that we had before. As I hand over the power, this power can only be good if it serves the purpose to which it was created,” Koipaton said.
Kenyatta asked his successor to work towards a cohesive united army to shield Kenyans as he takes charge.
Enlisted into the military as an Officer Cadet on May 14, 1982, Njiru was commissioned as an officer April 14, 1983.
After completing his training, he was posted to the 3rd Kenya Rifles as a platoon commander and served in various appointments including Officer Commanding and later as Commanding Officer.