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How Echesa talked himself out of CS job

Former Sports CS Rashid Echesa. /FILE

Until his nomination to the Cabinet in January last year, sacked Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa was known as an amateur boxer and the ODM youth winger in Shibale village, Mumias town.

Deputy President William Ruto convinced President Kenyatta to name him into cabinet despite his modest education having dropped out of school in class seven.

But no sooner had Echesa settled in his new office than he began to engage himself in politics and in the process talking himself out of the prestigious job on Friday.

His love for political events, at the expense of attending events involving sports, heritage and culture, got him into trouble with his boss.

At one time, a visibly angry President Uhuru Kenyatta openly criticised Echesa in the presence of Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga during the president’s tour of the Nyanza region where Kenyatta was irked by the poor state of the mausoleum of the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

Almost one year in the office and Echesa has become the first CS to be fired by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

His one-year tenure in office has been characterized with notoriety, which attracted public outrage on the manner he conducted himself.

In August last year, Echesa who was the face of the youth in the Cabinet caused a scene at Kisumu International Airport when he was involved in a scuffle with Alego Usonga MP Sam Atandi.

Echesa had just arrived at the airport to board a Kenya Airways flight to Nairobi when Atandi accosted him over his alleged attacks against Nasa leader Raila Odinga.

Echesa had during a burial ceremony in his home county of Kakamega launched a scathing attack on Raila, whom he accused of plotting to have him fired as Cabinet Secretary.

“With all due respect, I am not your (Raila’s) equal. The President was not stupid to appoint me. He knew the country had professors but I was still appointed. Raila, give me a break,” said an angry Echesa.

Echesa, a former ODM youth leader has been on the warpath against Raila since his appointment to the Cabinet and frequently speaks out during weekend functions in his Mumias turf and western Kenya.

In the same month of August 2018, Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala would accuse Echesa of sending goons to attack his convoy in Mumias where several people were injured.

And it would not stop there, Achesa would in October last year be accused of allegedly paying some three journalists to photoshop Malala’s image to portray him in a compromising situation with a non-existent woman.

The strategy was to flood the internet with the pornographic pictures in a bid to tarnish Malala’s reputation, especially in Kakamega, where their supremacy battles have played out openly.

The three journalists – David Ndolo, Stafford Ondego and Alex Njue – alleged to be Achesa’s hatchet men, were arrested on the following day and locked up at KICC police station.

They were accused of taking Senator Malala’s photo image, cropping off the head, placing an unrelated naked body and juxtaposing it next to a nude woman.

The CS has also had run-ins with other western leaders, including Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula, whom he has criticized for misleading the Luhya community.

Then last month, Echesa would also be linked to eight Pakistani girls who were said to be in the country on cultural dancing mission.

Police are still investigating if the girls who were arrested at Balle Balle Club in Nairobi’s Parklands area were victims of human trafficking.


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