Hezekiah Rabala Ochuka, (alias Awour) (July 23, 1953 – July 9, 1987) was Senior Private in the Kenya Air Force, who ruled Kenya for about six hours after planning and executing a coup against president Daniel arap Moi on August 1, 1982.
Early life and career
Ochuka, of the Luo ethnic group, was born in Nyakach, Kisumu District. After attending Naki kabete Primary School and Mirogi Secondary School, Ochuka was recruited into the Kenya Air Force on September 14, 1976 in Mombasa. He underwent eight weeks of military training at Lanet Army Barracks in Nakuru, and was posted to Eastleigh Air Base. Between 1976 and 1978, he underwent basic trade training in electrical devices and instruments, and worked in hangars and bays. From October 30, 1978 to January 21, 1980, he attended a course in RAF Cosford, UK, after which he worked as a Senior Private Grade-I, the second lowest rank in Kenya’s military.
On August 1, 1982, Ochuka ruled Kenya for a few hours, after he led a group of low ranked Air Force serviceman in a coup d'état attempt. The putsch was quickly suppressed by forces commanded by Chief of General Staff Mahamoud Mohamed, a veteran Somali military official. They included the General Service Unit (GSU) — a paramilitary wing of the police — and later the regular police.
Ochuka subsequently escaped to Tanzania. He was later extradited to Kenya. He was, together with Pancras Oteyo Okumu, found guilty and hanged in 1987. No death sentence has been carried out in Kenya since then, although it has not been formally abolished.
- Society. Nyamora Communications Limited. 1992. p. 12.
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