Embattled former Cabinet Secretary, Rashid Echesa, on Tuesday night, February 18, opened up on his meeting at Deputy President William Ruto‘s office.
Speaking to NTV from his palatial home in Karen, Nairobi, Echesa made it clear that visiting DP Ruto’s office was not a crime, adding that the two were close friends who did not need formal channels to meet.
“The deputy president is my friend. We’ve been friends for a very long time. I don’t even need an appointment to see the DP,” he emphasised.
He then went on to deny having had any dealings with American businessman Stanley Kozlowski – the man he is alleged to have swindled.
In one of the charges, the prosecution, which was led by state counsel Jacinta Nyamosi, claimed that Echesa presented himself to Stanley and Mamdouh Mostafa Lofty as a personal assistant of the deputy president in a bid to convince the businessmen to enter into a gun supply agreement.
“Between October 2 and February 13, 2020, the accused attempted to obtain Ksh39.5 billion from Bruno by falsely pretending that he would be awarded a tender by the State Department of Defence to supply military equipment,” read part of the charge sheet.
However, in his rebuttal, the former Sports CS claimed that the American was in Kenya on a tourist visa and didn’t have a work permit to enable him to transact any form of business in the first place.
“Stan has been my friend for the last six years. Stan’s mother knows me as his friend. My mother knows Stan, my family knows him as well,” he stated.
I have never known that Stan has been doing business around here because to my understanding, I knew he did not have a working permit,” he further added.
Echesa categorically denied having received any payment from the American, daring anyone who had evidence of the contrary to come forward.
The former CS who was released on a Ksh1 million cash bail on February 17, had been charged alongside Daniel Otieno Omondi, Clifford Okoth and Kennedy Mboya with 12 counts ranging from forgery, obtaining money by false pretence and impersonating senior government officials.
He was arrested on February 13, following a raid by officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations over a fake military equipment tender.
DP Ruto has distanced himself from the scandal linked to his office, insisting that this was part of a smear campaign orchestrated by his political rivals
CCTV footage taken from the DP’s office positively identified two of his aides as having been present on February 13, when Echesa met officials from Echo Advanced Technologies, the American Company tied to the fake deal.
Watch Echesa’s full interview below: