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Why DCI raided Ex-CS Echesa’s Karen home

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Detectives have raided the home of former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa in Nairobi over probe on car dealing fraud.The officers were forced to climb on the perimeter wall to gain access into Echesa’s Karen compound after they were barred from driving in.The former CS insisted he could not allow them in because his lawyer was not around at the time.

He is being investigated in relation to another car dealing case in which three people have accused him of fraud.Echesa (pictured) is also a prime suspect in the gun scandal case in which two arms dealers from the US and Poland have filed a case of fraud against him alongside other co-accused.On February 17, 2020, Echesa and three co-accused persons have pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of fraud at the Milimani Law Courts.

Rashid Echesa and Daniel Otieno Omondi, Kennedy Oyoo Mboya, and Clifford Okoth denied 12 counts of fraud-related charges.The Ex-CS has been accused of duping Eco Advanced Technologies that he would help them secure an arms tender at the Ministry of Defence, a deal in which he is accused of pocketing Sh11.5 million as consultancy fees.

The prosecution sought to file an additional affidavit which was opposed by Echesa’s lawyer Evans Ondieki who argued that the defence was not furnished and notified in due time. He told the court that any introduction of fresh orders would undermine the JKIA court, where Magistrate Lucas Onyona released his client on Sh1 million cash bail.On its defence, the prosecution said that it was presenting a charge sheet, hence it would not contradict and disrespect the JKIA court.

READ ALSO:   Sh39bn fraud details emerge as Echesa gets bail

While referring to comments made by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu over the matter, Ondieki argued that the court should intervene and stop those already prosecuting the case on social media.He posited that the case had taken a political tone and it is now public knowledge that it is being used as a witch-hunt against the Deputy President. “There is a lot of political interference in the case which is meant to implicate the DP who is not in the case. This is political persecution and should go on record,” he said.

Ondieki further argued that the suspects had no capacity to interfere with the witnesses since the latter are security officers. “Witnesses are defence and police officers, who can go to interfere with the defence officers your honour?” he asked.The prosecution is seeking to open up a case against the four.The former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and his three co-accused were on Friday each granted a Sh1million cash bail in a case involving an alleged fraudulent arms deal.They were remanded at Muthaiga Police Station to give police time to complete investigating the case.

Sleuths from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) were to use the time to search their homes, after which Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Magistrate Court’s Lucas Onyona ordered that they be released.Magistrate Onyona also barred the accused four from contacting any of the witnesses lined up for the case.Prosecutors had requested the court that they be held for 21 days so that detectives could travel to the United States to check the authenticity of the documents found in the ex-CS’s car.The documents were allegedly used in a fake tender deal to supply the government with military surveillance equipment, guns, and ammunition.Echesa was arrested on Thursday following a complaint by two gun dealers who claimed he had swindled them Sh11.5 million they had paid as ‘consultancy fees’.

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

The foreigners from the US and Poland-based Eco Advanced Technologies LLC claimed the former CS had promised to use his influence to help them secure the multi-billion-shilling security tender.It also emerged that one of the American merchants keen to win the tender to supply guns and ammunition had been hosted by the former CS at Harambee House Annex Building, where Deputy President has his office.Police visited the building and recovered copies of the documents that Echesa had allegedly given to the investors.“He has even been hosting them in a government boardroom claiming he would help secure the said tender,” said Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.Sources said the foreigners claimed to have been taken to a boardroom in the deputy president’s office more than once during negotiations.

Echesa’s rebuttal

Echesa argues his arrest is politically motivated and linked to the ongoing debate on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).His lawyer Evans Ondieki, in his opposition against the prosecution’s request to detain him longer, argued against the timing of the arrest. He held that the office of the DCI was being used to wage political battles.

Echesa was released on a Sh2 million cash bail.On Sunday, DP Ruto appeared to accept that the meeting may have happened at his office but he had nothing to do with it. He called on the investigators to relook their scope of probe and focus on other departments especially in the Ministry of Defence.

READ ALSO:   Echesa: Deputy President is my friend, I don’t need an appointment to meet him

He tweeted: “ODP does not procure for any ministry/department. Question: other than 23min in Annex, for months, which government offices involved in the ‘tender’ did the scammers visit? Did they access DOD? Who facilitated? Who did they meet? Get the truth. Forget the sponsored nonsense in media.”Ruto’s admission came after it emerged police had raided his office and taken away CCTV footage that captured the events at the office last Thursday.

The footage, according to those who had seen it, shows the two arms dealers – an American and an Egyptian – who were representing Eco Advanced Technologies that is seeking to supply the military hardware to Kenya, being ushered into the office. The officers from the Serious Crimes Unit on Monday went to the DP’s office to collect evidence. The officers were in the company of two directors of the companies (Egyptian and American) who were involved in identifying staff privy to the deal.

By Standard


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Entertainment

Capital FM buries ‘Hits Not Homework’ after two decades

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Capital FM has killed its long-running evening show, Hits Not Homework, and replaced it with an all-new programme titled The Hype 984.

Hits Not Homework had been on the air for more than twenty years and targeted the youth with the latest music urban music and conversations relevant to that particular audience.

Its replacement aired for the first time on Tuesday from 7pm to 10pm and was hosted by Wanjira Longauer Mbuthia.

Wanluv, as she is popular known, resigned from the station in 2018 and used to host the mid-morning show, The Fuse.

The new show will air on weekdays from Monday to Thursday grabbing the traditional Hits Not Homework time-slot.

Hits Not Homework was previously hosted by Miss Mandii and Neville alongside DJ Roudge, DJ Joe Mfalme and Joe Kisila.

The show is widely considered one of the most iconic shows ever to air on Kenyan radio as it had some of the biggest names in the industry as its hosts.

From Eve D’Souza, Solo, Joey Muthengi, Amina Abdi Rabar, Anita Nderu and Anne Mwaura to now Wanluv, although she will now host its reincarnated version.

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

The show was dogged by controversy in 2018 after a talent search dubbed Capital One which was to find a replacement following Amina’s exit turned into a PR nightmare for the station.

Outraged Kenyans called out the station’s decision to hand Nderu the position of hostng the show despite already being a presenter at the station and also a judge of the competition.

Nderu, who was eventually unveiled as the new host alongside Anne Mwaura, Tracy Wanjiru and Jo Kisila, left the show barely a year later, in February 2019, with the station citing expiry of their one-year contracts.

By NN


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Ruto: I helped Uhuru pick the BBI team but its mandate was changed to include changing the constitution without my knowledge

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Deputy President William Ruto has said that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) committee was not meant to change the Constitution.

While acknowledging that he had a hand in nominating the team members led by Senator Yusuf Haji, he said that the mandate of the team soon changed.

“When we were nominating those people, changing the Constitution was not part of their brief. That’s why if you look at the nominations that came from the Jubilee side, we were nominating people whose brief was to bring people together. Generally peace briefings. That’s why we nominated the chairman of the Kisii elders, the Kalenjin Council of Elders, Maison Leshomo (Samburu Woman Rep),” he said in an interview that aired on Citizen TV on Thursday evening.

“Be that as it may, when this exercise was concretised into a Constitution (issue), it was necessary for us to step in and say okay, let’s look at what proposals are being made. Some of the interventions that we have made are not unreasonable,” he added.

“I know there is a lot of push…that the train has left the station. But it is never too late to do the right thing,” DP Ruto said.

He also insisted that there is no legal framework within which the push to amend the Constitution is being made.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING-Ex-Sports CS Echesa arrested

The Deputy President also reiterated his preference for a multiple choice referendum, noting that it would give Kenyans the latitude to make decisions on an article by article basis.

“It (multiple choice) is the best way to fashion our referendum. Parliament is already fashioning a referendum Bill that gives the possibility of us going to a referendum with options. It is not something far-fetched,” the DP said.

The DP said that he does not need to get all he has demanded in the constitutional referendum debate, even as he insisted that the issues he was raising were reasonable.

He said the TangaTanga group he leads is not being belligerent in demanding fresh changes to the BBI Bill, whose proponents have already collected over four million signatures in one week.

“We do not have to get everything we want,” the DP said in a live interview with Citizen TV.

The DP’s group has demanded a multiple-choice referendum held alongside the General Election, the provision to vary by 20 per cent the proposed 70 constituencies as well as the amendment of the provision for the proposed Judiciary Ombudsman to be nominated by the President and vetted by the Senate, saying the office holder should instead be named by the Judiciary.

“I have nothing to gain or lose in this referendum. My only stake is that if we are changing the Constitution, we are changing it to go forward, not backwards. Two, is to make sure that we do not divide Kenyans,” the DP said.

READ ALSO:   Echesa: Deputy President is my friend, I don’t need an appointment to meet him

Referendum

He added: “If what we are saying is of merit, we can republish this Bill before signatures to IEBC. We can have Parliament to have a Bill to give Kenyans the chance to vote on multiple choices and not pushing them to a corner.”

He insisted that the option of a multiple-choice format referendum was Kenya’s best chance to not have a situation of throwing away the baby with the bathwater in the BBI

“We believe it is possible to have a referendum where Kenyans vote on articles independently. As leaders, we have to change of how we view Kenyans. Their views, concerns, ideas, proposals also matter,” the DP said, defending his call for Kenyans to vote for the different issues separately.

“There is a tendency to underestimate the ability of the common Kenyan to comprehend issues and make a decision. If you have six issues and you are telling them to make a decision, what is the problem?”

He said experts can package the sections of the BBI that go together, suggesting it could be divided on the basis of the changes to the Legislature, the Judiciary, Parliament, Executive, devolution, and the proposed 70 constituencies.

He cited cases he said were happening in Liberia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Peru, and the United States which he cited as those that have done multiple-choice referenda.

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

“It is not something far-fetched,” he said.

Divisive referendum

“The position I have taken is that a referendum is possible, that we can have a win-win outcome that we do not need have a divisive referendum…As a deputy president, I have a duty to do everything in my power to ensure Kenyans travel together.”

Citing instances of Covid-19 infection and deaths and the economic burdens that come with it, the DP reiterated his position that the referendum be held alongside the 2022 General Election.

“Kenyans are asking themselves are we mad? Why hold a referendum now instead of 2022? We have debts, people are losing jobs, parents do not know where to get [school] fees next year, NHIF is not paying bills….Surely, let us be serious,” he said.

He defended his defence of the Judiciary independence given his comments after the Supreme Court nullified the presidential election in 2017.

“An independent Judiciary is good for me whether I am in government or the opposition,” said Dr Ruto.

He insisted that President Kenyatta shares with him his vision of a united country.

“The President is my boss and my friend. These are things we have shared. I can tell you without fear of contradiction that he shares with me the hope of a united country,” he said.

-Nation


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Health

KQ loses second pilot to Covid-19 in London

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The national carrier Kenya Airways has lost another pilot to Covid-19.

Captain Salah Salim Jeizan, 57, died at a London hospital on Wednesday, the airline’s chief human resources officer Evelyne Munyoki said in a condolence message.

Captain Jeizan flew to London’s Heathrow Airport on November 7 from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport but developed difficulties in breathing while in a London hotel.

Jeizan was rushed to the hospital from his hotel room and put on oxygen.

According to Ibrahim Johnny, a close colleague, the deceased will be buried on Thursday in London under the Islamic law.

Captain Jeizan joined the national carrier in 2001 as a junior pilot and rose through the ranks to his last position as a senior captain on the Boeing 787 fleet.

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

He flew to different international destinations in Europe, US and the Middle East.

“On behalf of the board of directors, the management and staff of Kenya Airways, we join the family of the late captain Jeizan in mourning their beloved one and pray that the almighty God will strengthen them during this time of sorrow,” KQ said in a statement.

In April Kenya lost its first captain, Daudi Kibati, days after commandeering a flight that evacuated Kenyans stranded in the US after the outbreak of Covid-19.

The captain was taken ill on March 29 after returning from New York and he died on April 1.

By NN


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