Rashid Echesa and other Ruto allies likely to make a comeback

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Former cabinet secretaries Rashid Echesa and Davis Chirchir are among those likely to make a comeback in the government of President-elect William Ruto.

With the victories of Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula and his PAA counterpart Amason Kingi in the National Assembly and Senate respectively, the former cabinet secretaries could see their loyalty rewarded.

On Saturday, September 10, the ex-sports CS met Ruto at his Karen residence – a continuum of his association with the incoming president.

“I met with the President-elect to dissect the post-election strategy that will free our people from the shackles of abject poverty. Economic revival will always be at the top of our agenda as we embark on this long-awaited journey of liberation.” Echesa explained. .

From the left, President-elect William Ruto, former CS Rashid Echesa and ex-Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala at the DP’s residence in Karen on Saturday, September 10, 2022.

Rashid Echesa

The Rise and Fall of Echesa

Echesa, a former boxer, was appointed to the cabinet of President Uhuru Kenyatta during his second term. He was nominated and later named head of the sports and heritage list.

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However, his appointment raised eyebrows and MPs questioned whether he had the academic qualification to lead a ministry. MPs said the ex-CS was a class seven dropout.

Nevertheless, the former ODM youth leader was sworn in and wanted to prove his critics wrong. One of his duties was to run the Sports Fund and oversee the construction and renovation of stadiums across the country.

Echesa didn’t keep his promises, despite speaking loudly and making promises about the stadiums. He was publicly berated by Uhuru over the Oginga Odinga mausoleum in Kisumu.

The CS subsequently came under fire for allegedly issuing work permits to nine Pakistani belly dancers who had been arrested for being in the country illegally. The ministry maintained that the permits had not been issued by the CS and that the nine were evicted.

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In March 2019, months after the deportation, the boss of Sports and Heritage was relieved of his duties in a cabinet reshuffle and replaced by then Education CS Amina Mohammed.

Echesa was also involved in a Ksh 40 billion scandal involving the supply of military surveillance equipment. He was charged with misleading Eco Advanced Technologies LLC Ksh11.5 million as consultancy fees for the multi-billion dollar contract.

Davis Chirchi

Ruto’s chief of staff, who also served as his Chief Election Agent during the recently concluded general election, will also be rewarded for his loyalty to the new head of state.

Chirchir was appointed Energy CS by Kenyatta during his first term in office – a reward for his services as Jubilee’s Chief Agent in the 2013 poll. However, in 2015 he was fired after being named in the chicken gate scandal.

The scandal stems from his tenure as commissioner of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), when he was accused of receiving a bribe for the award of a printing contract to a British company.

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Although the total scandal involved Ksh 50 million, Chirchir was accused by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of having received an undisclosed amount to influence the issuance of the tender.

The ex-CS was also facing a second case involving a questionable transfer of Ksh90 million from the Kenya Pipeline Company to Kenya Power. EACC later acquitted him for lack of evidence.

Henry Rotich, a close ally of Ruto, took a low profile after being kicked out of Uhuru’s cabinet, where he served as Treasury CS and could potentially earn a seat at the decision-making table as well.

Other top politicians likely to land jobs in Ruto’s government include former Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, former Speaker Justin Muturi and former Gatundu North MP Moses Kuria.

Former Energy CS Davis Chirchir shakes hands with President Uhuru Kenyatta after his appointment in April 2013

Former Energy CS Davis Chirchir shakes hands with President Uhuru Kenyatta after his appointment in April 2013

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