The recent and ongoing firearms scandal involving former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and the hand of the Deputy President through his office and his own security detail has elicited a plethora of views and speculations as Kenyans try to understand the whole saga as evidence is being revealed piece by piece as investigations go on.
Too many questions have been raised on the Deputy President’s connection to the scandal with his ally and close friend Richard Echesa, his daughter June Rollex Ruto who acted as a facilitator in Poland, and his son Nick Ruto who is alleged to have worked behind the scenes with the legal matters.
With everything occurring at an opportune time when the country was mourning the passing away of Kenya’s second President Daniel Moi, the mastermind group were in the process of acquiring the most sophisticated military weapons in Kenya’s military history. But with the fake generals and fake authorities who presented themselves to Eco Technologies LLC, where were these weapons destined to go?
Why such interest in military equipment? Some of what was inspected by Echesa were drones, useful for drone strikes considering they can carry missiles, ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles) or bombs. For those who may not be in the know – drones have been considered as the future of warfare by the fact that they are unmanned, providing troops with a 24-hour “eye in the sky”. Images have also shown Echesa viewing what appeared to be a military assault rifle that can hit targets at accurate precision with an effective firing range beyond 1,000 metres.
These and other equipment were what sent Echesa to this mission. But was it all about the kickbacks or engaging in fraud? It appears as though the scandal is deepening as investigations intensify.
In light of this, a few things about the Echesa – Ruto relationship must be brought to light. One is that Echesa has categorically pointed out that Ruto is his close friend and ally and has unlimited access to the Deputy President. Secondly, do Kenyans actually think that Ruto quietly flew to Khartoum, Sudan when the Cabinet was being reshuffled for chicken rearing business? Thirdly, both individuals have been linked to unexplained mass killings in the country namely, the Mt Elgon killings and Matungu killings, which seem to appear as mere incidents considering the way things are going.
Back in 2019, Rashid Echesa was arrested over the Matungu senseless killings which were initiated by a terror gang that killed more than thirty people in less than four months. In many of the killings, nothing was stolen and it appeared the gang was inspiring terror ‘for kicks’ and political aims and appeared that they had ‘funding’ from some source or sources. Echesa was found to have wired Sh150,000 to two of the suspects, but was later released after his arrest in fictitious circumstances.
In the Mount Elgon killings, the famous Wycliffe Matakwei Kirui was apparently a former church elder and a close friend to Ruto. Matakwei formed the Sabaot Land Defence Force, SLDF, which was a Kalenjin guerilla militia operating in the Mount Elgon District that killed over 600 people. The attacks were characterized by murder, torture, rape, theft and destruction of property and residents alleged that the militia group was being funded by William Ruto.
Reason being, even as a church elder, congregants used to notice the numerous amounts of ‘church donations’ that were regularly channeled through Matakwei. Though this militant was killed, it was only through the intervention of CS Fred Matiang’i that the senseless killings stopped as the militia was firmly dealt with. But are they extinct or could they be regrouping?
The firearms scandal is enough for any blind person to see that the weapons were bound to equip a team, a group and in this case, a militia, but definitely not the actual Kenyan military. With the existence of full military attire of a General with the badges adorned, there is more than meets the eye and there is likely more of these military regalia hidden, sourced or in possession of dubious people somewhere.
There seems to be more to this scandal than what is apparent. So many questions with very little answers. As for the recent mysterious deaths of staff attached to the Deputy President’s office, Kenyans need answers…