This man Echesa: Ruto’s once-favourite man now faces endless troubles

Rashid Echesa

Former Cabinet Secretary for Sports Rashid Echesa.

Photo credit: File

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa is no stranger to controversies.

The man who served as a Cabinet Secretary for a short stint during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second term, despite questions about his academic background, will spend Easter weekend in police custody.

Mr Echesa was nabbed by police over allegations of an extortion racket targeting Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa, and is set to be charged in court on Tuesday.

The former Cabinet Secretary rose from grass to grace, thanks to his bravery that attracted the attention of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, who made him the party youth leader, a position that brought him fame.

His vast political network in Mumias caught the eyes of Mr Kenyatta and then Deputy President William Ruto who lured him out of ODM to Jubilee Party in the run-up to 2017 general election.

This will land him a Cabinet Secretary position in the Jubilee administration in March 2018, but his stay in the corridors of power was short-lived as a string of corruption allegations plagued his ministry leading to his sacking.

He later blamed Mr Odinga for his woes, claiming that his former political godfather influenced his sacking in a Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Echesa claimed that Mr Odinga and his handshake brother, the retired president, conspired to kick him out of the Cabinet because he was an ally of Mr Ruto, then Deputy President.

Fake arms deal

Mr Echesa’s troubles deepened when he was named in a Sh39.5 billion fake arms deal, with allegations that the office of the Deputy President was also involved.

His home in Karen was raided by detectives from the Economic Crimes Unit, who were forced to camp outside since the premise was locked.

They later scaled the wall to gain access, during which they ransacked the house in search of crucial documents linked to the fake arms deal.

Assault, appointment

In 2021, during the by-election in Matungu constituency, Mr Echesa was arrested for allegedly assaulting an electoral commission officer in one of the polling stations.

Despite all these scandals, this man Echesa was appointed by President Ruto last year to be the chairperson of the Kenya Water Towers Agency Board, a position that he will hold for three years.

While many expected the appointment would see Mr Echesa evade troubles, that has not been the case, the man is back, this time, with an extortion case.