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Sh39bn fraud details emerge as Echesa gets bail

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Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and three others will remain in police custody until Monday after a magistrate allowed detectives to hold them as they conclude investigations.

Senior Principal Magistrate Lucas Onyina also allowed the police to conduct a search in the houses of Mr Echesa, Mr Daniel Otieno, Mr Clifford Okoth and Mr Kennedy Oyoo Mboya. They will be held at the Muthaiga Police Station.

The police had sought to detain the suspects for 21 days, arguing that the three were likely to destroy evidence, mostly documents in their possession.

The court also heard that investigators needed to travel to the US to collect evidence and that releasing them would jeopardise the collection of evidence, some of which was found in Mr Echesa’s vehicles.

But through their lawyers, Evans Ondieki and Brian Khaemba, the suspects protested, saying their arrest was politically motivated.

They said the seizure was malicious given the day of arrest, the time and the number of days the police were seeking to hold them.

Mr Ondieki said there was no tangible evidence to support the claims and there was nothing to show that they were a threat to peace. He said the police were only “shopping for complaints”.

In an affidavit filed in court, police Constable John Munjama, who is attached to serious crimes unit at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), said he was investigating claims of making a document without authority.

READ ALSO:   Why DCI raided Ex-CS Echesa’s Karen home

The officer revealed that between October 7, 2019 and February 13, the suspects, with others not in court, made documents purporting to be genuine from the Ministry of Defence and Kenya Defence Forces.

They allegedly used the documents to prepare a contract between the Ministry and Eco Advanced Technologies LLC, a company belonging to Koziowski Stanley Bruno, an American.

He said they did so with the intention to obtain money from him by false pretenses.

The suspects, he added, were arrested as they were about to receive money from Mr Bruno by claiming that they could help him secure a tender.

The documents they allegedly prepared include an end-user certificate, a non-disclosure agreement, letters of award and an extension of notification of award letters, all from the Ministry of Defence.

Senior Principal Magistrate Onyina directed the police to conclude the search by 6pm on Monday and release the suspects on a bond of Sh1 million each. The case will be mentioned on February 18.

In one of the testimonies, one of the directors of Eco Advanced Technologies Company, which was allegedly approached by a member of the cartel from Kenya, said one of the people involved in the deals was a senior military officer who even attended one of the meetings in Lavington in the presence of uniformed escort and security personnel.

He also said the most crucial documents for the deals were signed in the boardrooms of the Harambee Annex Building and the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, where Mr Echesa was “recognised and highly respected” by the security personnel.

READ ALSO:   Echesa: My children are still asking me why I was sacked

Mr Echesa, the director said, did not even go through security checks, so this and his demeanour convinced them that the deal was genuine.

The former minister is alleged to have swindled Sh11.5 million from the company as broker fee.

His job was to link the company to the government for the supply of drones worth Sh39 billion and other military equipment.

On Thursday, Mr Echesa was arrested on Harambee Avenue in Nairobi over his involvement in the deal.

It all started in October last year when a person identified as “Robert” contacted the directors of Eco Advanced Technologies through a link email on the company’s website.

He claimed to be a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) employee working in the procurement department.

The correspondence culminated in several meetings in Lavington, Hemingways, KICC, Harambee Annex Building; Mr Echesa and others visiting Poland, where the company’s warehouse is located; the payment of Sh11.5 million and arrests and statements being recorded.

The DCI’s newly formed Special Service Unit discovered the fraudulent deal before further transactions could be made, but not before the directors of company had spent more than Sh50 million on the brokers’ consultancy fee and overseas travel.

The DCI is in possession of pictures Mr Echesa and the other suspects took while in Warsaw, Poland, where they purportedly went for the arms testing before the “military could procure them”.

READ ALSO:   Echesa’s Land Cruiser V8 registration number is fake, DCI says

When they approached the directors, the Kenyan consultants under company name Pizel asked those acting on behalf of the arms company to keep the whole deal discreet.

“The instructions were that the deal was highly secretive and that it could only be signed in Statehouse and Harambee House. If we let out the secret, we risked losing the deal,” the director of the company, who is Egyptian by nationality, told the DCI investigators.

A week ago, he said, Mr Rashid took them to the office of the Deputy President William Ruto at the Harambee Annex.

After making a number of calls, he says, Mr Echesa told him that the DP had stepped out but asked them to go ahead to ahead and sign tender documents.

By Friday evening, Mr Kinoti said investigations were going on and that the DCI had not arrested additional suspects.

The DCI is also analysing tender documents found both in the Office of the Deputy President and Echesa’s car to establish how the documents had the signatures of Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma.

Mr Echesa was sacked from the Cabinet in March last year after he was arrested alongside other politicians in a probe into criminal gangs in Matungu, Kakamega County.

By nation.co.ke


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Entertainment

‘I regret…’ Anne Kiguta opens up about posting her daughter on social media

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TV news anchor Anne Kiguta has announced that she would like to share with her fans more about her life.

However, she draws a line on exposing her children to the limelight.

Anne has three children, one from her previous marriage and fraternal twins with Jomo Gecaga.

Responding to a fan who asked her about her babies, Anne posted a photo of her and her twins but blocked out the faces.

In her response she explained,

“Gosh, so many of you have said this… was the number one response. Well, I will have to let you down on that my loves.”

She added,

“I’m rather traditional (believe it or not) so I’m vehemently against it. My babies are are all still too young, including the eldest, to be on social media.”

Anne continued,

“In fact I really regret having posted my eldest at all. Mummy already has a pretty public life. They deserve their privacy.”

But not to break her fans hearts, Anne promised,

“A reference every once in a while but nothing more than that for a long long time.  Hope  you understand.”

In another post she still emphasized,

“That is my son. Quite the charmer. If only I could tell you half of what they say! But all these are are to me sacred moments…really can’t share much more.”

Not to be daunted though, Anne promised to talk about other aspects of her life.

READ ALSO:   Rashid Echesa: It’s embarrassing to use matatus, please release my sports utility vehicles

Here are the various topics she is open to talking about.

By Mpasho.co.ke


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Health

Shock as man ‘resurrects’ in a Kericho mortuary

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There was drama at Kapkatet sub-county hospital in Kericho on Tuesday night when a 32-year-old man who had been presumed dead and taken to the mortuary regained consciousness close to three hours later.

Mortuary attendants were getting ready to embalm Peter Kigen’s body when they noticed some movements.

Kigen, a resident of Kibwastuiyo village in Bureti Constituency, is said to have collapsed while at home before his family took him to hospital.

His younger brother, Kevin Kipkurui, said he was present when Kigen collapsed. With the help of their cousin, they took Kigen to the hospital at 5.30 pm.

“When we arrived at the casualty department, we met a doctor who asked us to register the details of the patient at the reception while he attended to him,” Kipkurui, who was still in shock, told The Standard.

After registering the patient, Kipkurui said he was again asked to the National Hospital Insurance Fund desk for further documentation of his brother.

Kigen reportedly suffers from a chronic illness.

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READ ALSO:   Save me from public transport, shame - Echesa tells court

“When I went back to the casualty department at around 7.45 pm, I learnt my brother was dead. A nurse told me that he died long before we arrived at the hospital,” Kipkurui said.

He added: “The nurse later handed me a document to take to the mortuary attendant before my brother’s body was moved to the morgue.”

However, at 10.30 pm, Kipkuriu said, as they were waiting for embalming of Kigen’s body, they were informed that in fact, he was not dead.

Mortuary attendants who mummified the body told them that Kigen had regained consciousness.

“The mortician called me into the morgue and we saw him make movements. We were shocked. We could not understand how they could move a person who is still alive into the mortuary,” Kipkurui said.

Kigen, who spoke from his hospital bed yesterday, said he was shocked to learn that he was thought to have died and even taken to the mortuary.

“I cannot believe what just happened. How did they establish that I was dead?” he said.

Kirui, who donned his light-blue hospital uniform, was nevertheless happy to be alive and vowed to dedicate his life to evangelism once he’s discharged from hospital.

“I did not even know where I was when I regained consciousness, but I thank God for sparing my life. I will serve him for the rest of my life,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Sgt Kenei was murdered, Kenyan newspaper quotes detectives as saying

The hospital’s medical superintendent Gilbert Cheruiyot said Kigen was in critical condition when he was brought in.

Dr Cheruiyot said: “His relatives presumed he was dead and did not even wait for certification of death. They moved him to the mortuary, on their own.”

He said the clinical officers at the casualty were busy attending to other critically ill patients when Kigen was brought in, including an epileptic and a diabetic patient.

“They asked Kigen’s relatives to give them some time but they accused the clinicians of taking too much time and decided to take him to the mortuary. It was while the mortician was getting ready to embalm his body that she noticed some signs of life,” said Cheruiyot. He said the mortician informed the team at the casualty department which took Kigen back and begun resuscitating him. The process took three hours before the patient was stabilised.

“The patient was later taken to the ward and is responding well to treatment. We hope to discharge him in a few days,” Dr Cheruiyot said yesterday.

He added: “I advise those bringing their loved ones to the hospital to follow the laid down regulations. Before a body is moved the mortuary, it has to be certified by a clinician. In Kigen’s case, we can only say he was lucky, especially because of our qualified mortician who checked him before making any move,” said Cheruiyot.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING-Ex-Sports CS Echesa arrested

The bizarre incident saw local MCAs, led by the Majority Leader Hezron Kipngeno, storm the hospital. This is after Chelanget MCA Hezborn Tonui demanded a statement from the heath committee over the incident that shocked the county.


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Diaspora

VIDEO: 28 year old Kenyan woman marries a 60 year old German and tongues can’t stop wagging

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Ciru Njuguna is 28 and her husband Greg Twiss is 60. Please don’t let that age gap fool you, these two deeply love each other and they are living their best life together.

But when people say Ciru is just after Greg’s money and he will end up in a septic tank, that gets to her. She is not ashamed of her relationship and strongly urges the public to let other people be.

“My German husband is older than my father. People say I am his slave and he is a colonial master,” she says.

She sat down with Lynn Ngugi for this exclusive episode of Tuko Talks and this is her story.


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READ ALSO:   Echesa: Ruto didn't protect his allies
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