Lt Gen Samson J Mwathethe was born in Malindi and educated at Shimo La Tewa and Sacred Heart High Schools Mombasa, before joining the Kenya Navy in April 1978.
He was commissioned in 1980 as a Seaman Officer after attending Britannia Royal Naval College , Dartmouth . His other professional and military training include International Sub-Lieutenants Course (UK), International Principal Warfare (IPWO) Course (UK), Missiles Course (ITALY) and the Royal Naval Staff College , Greenwich , ( UK ) in 1989.
He also attended the Defence Resource Management Course in Monterey , USA in 1998, and the National Defence College in Nairobi , Kenya in 2000. Lt Gen Mwathethe is currently the Vice Chief of Defence Forces and has held various command appointments including Kenya Navy Commander, Deputy Kenya Navy Commander, Kenya Navy logistics Commander, Base Commander Mtongwe and Fleet Commander.
His other appointments included Chief of Systems & Procurement, Department of Defence, Command of individual Kenya Navy Ships, SOII Operations at Navy Headquarters, 86 Squadron Commander, and SOI Co-ordination at the Department of Defence. He also served with the United Nations as a Military Observer in Kuwait/Iraq and Yugoslavia in 1991/92. His decorations include Distinguished Conduct Order (DCO), Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS), among others.