The Ksh40 Billion arms deal scandal involving former Sports CS Rashid Echesa on Thursday, December 17, took a new twist after the prosecution introduced new witnesses.
In a pre-trial conference before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot, state prosecutor Kennedy Panyako disclosed that Defence PS Major General Gordon Kihalang’wa was expected to testify in the case.
Panyako added that other high-ranking State officials were to give their testimonies in the alleged fake arms scandal.
Citing security reasons, the prosecutor stated that they would not supply the defense with the witness statements of the PS and the five military officers.
He, however, noted that they would only furnish the documents to the defense a few days to the hearing date.
Two gun dealers from Poland had filed a complaint accusing the former CS of swindling them of Ksh11.5 million they had paid as ‘consultancy fees.’
According to the two arms dealers, Echesa had promised to use his influence to help them secure the multi-billion shilling security tender at the Kenya Defence Forces.
The Ministry of Defence had in February maintained that the complainants in the alleged scam had never been to the Ministry’s headquarters.
In a statement to newsrooms, the MoD distanced itself from the fake arms procurement scam, adding that the complainants did not interact with any official mandated to represent the MoD.
“We have an elaborate procurement process that ensures transparency and accountability of any procurement process as guided by the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act (2016),” the statement signed by Public Communications director Bogita Ongeri stated.
Echesa was arrested in February 2020, in connection to the scandal.
Police confirmed that Echesa had been apprehended after allegedly getting into a fake contract with foreign investors dealing with military equipment whom he convinced he could help secure a lucrative multi-billion shilling Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) tender for the supply of arms and military surveillance technology.
He was accused of using the Office of the Deputy President and the signature, fraudulent or otherwise, of Defence Cabinet Secretary Amb. Monica Juma in a bid to seal the deal.
The Magistrate ordered that the case will proceed on February 22, 2021.