Atwoli blasts Echesa over fraud case; says corruption has become a culture

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli

COTU boss Francis Atwoli has blasted former Sports CS Rashid Echesa over his involvement in the alleged Kshs 39 billion fraudulent arms deal. Echesa and three accomplices, were on Friday arraigned at the JKIA court and remanded until Monday, but will be released on a Kshs 1 million cash bail. The Ex-CS was arrested on Thursday and taken in for questioning over the fraudulent weapons deal which amounts to around Kshs 39 billion, involving foreign businessmen.

Documents alleged to have details of the fake deal are in the hands of the police. “If documents, official fraudulent documents, can be signed in the office of the Deputy President…a whole office with security gadgets, monitoring bases and a second-in-command office, you can see the level of corruption in this country,” said Atwoli, speaking to the press. He said corruption has become a culture in Kenya, and although President Uhuru Kenyatta is actively fighting it, he is facing some resistance.

He said that those working in the Office of the Deputy President at Harambee Annex will claim they called the police when they noticed the suspicious deal only to avert attention. He also faulted Deputy President William Ruto, given that Echesa is his close aide, “This has been your friend, a frequent visitor in Sugoi, who always fights other people in Western province…When I say some people, if they assume the responsibility of leadership, they’ll put the whole Central Bank of Kenya on their back.”

He said the culture of corruption must be done away with, adding that Echesa’s appointment was met with shock, “People were surprised, somebody who didn’t go to school, how did he get his position in Cabinet, somebody who doesn’t know the color of the shirt he is wearing, whether it’s blue or red he can’t be able to differentiate, he becomes the Cabinet Minister,” said Atwoli.

The COTU boss said he cursed Echesa, on January 2019, “I told him I’m your father, I’m your elder, even if I’m naked you need to cover me even if your dad is naked you need to cover him, you don’t let him go naked,” he said, “I’ll see you going down and he will never see me going down because he would’ve already gone down.”