The Late Ret. Gen. Mulinge
Kenya’s longest serving top military chief general; Jackson Kimeu Mulinge has passed on at 90 years. Mulinge is popularly known for his diligence, loyalty and bravery after he thwarted two attempted coups during his tenure as a top military officer.
In 1972, while Gen Mulinge was serving as the deputy of armed forces under the late Major General Joseph Ndolo, some civilians and politicians attempted to overthrow the country’s founding father’s (Jomo Kenyatta) government and Gen Mulinge successfully managed to crush the coup.
Once again in 1982, Gen Mulinge would help retired president Daniel Arap Moi retain his presidency after a section of the military (Armed Forces) staged a coup to over throw his government.
Mulinge was a man of many firsts; he was the first Kenyan military officer to be awarded the rank of full general, the first to hold the post of Chief of the General Staff (Chief of the Defence Forces) and also the first African to command 3kenya rifles after taking over from Lt-Col J.R.A. Anderson.
Gen Mulinge took over the reins of the army in 1969 as a brigadier and took charge of the military in 1971 following Major Gen Ndolo’s retirement. He also served in Ethiopia during the World War II.
While condoling the late General’s family, Moi describes Mulinge as one of the bravest and professional soldiers Kenya has ever produced.
“Due to his professionalism, loyalty and steadfastness, Mulinge rose through the ranks from a private to be Chief of General Staff of the armed forces in the country, his death is not just a loss to his family but to the nation as well,” Moi said.
Residents of Kathiani Constituency in Machakos County acknowledge the late General for being a pillar of unity in the Kamba community and credit his contributions in major developments in the region like roads, schools and hospitals.
Interestingly, it’s believed that Mulinge never had interests of joining the military and was actually spotted by a recruiting officer in Machakos town where he had gone to sell goats, thanks to his height and physique.
Mulinge retired in July 1986 and was succeeded by Gen Mahmoud Mohamed.