Media Gagged as KDF Bosses Testify in Echesa Fake Arms Case

Journalists docked at a media center while covering an event.
  • Journalists who turned up to cover a hearing of former CS Rashid Echesa’s Ksh39.5 billion military arms deal trial were kicked out of court.

    A report by Nation indicated that the directive was issued on Thursday, June 22, senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot after an application by a prosecutor from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

    The magistrate observed that the testimony that was expected from the three Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) was sensitive and crucial.

    “Owing to the sensitivity of the testimony from the senior military officers, members of the press and public are hereby ordered to leave court as long as the crucial evidence is being led,†directed Cheruiyot.

    Journalists docked at a media centre while covering an event.

    Echesa is linked to a Ksh39 billion fake arms scandal that was reportedly supposed to be orchestrated by the former CS and involved the office of Deputy President William Ruto.

    On Monday, June 21, witnesses told the court that Echesa took two white men to the office of DP Ruto before he was arrested over defrauding Polish traders in the fake gun scandal. 

    Security details at Ruto’s office were reported to have confiscated a bag and mobile phones belonging to the white men before they were allowed into the premises. 

    Echesa was alleged to have told the guards that he and the two foreigners had an appointment with the DP. Witnesses nonetheless stated that they did not see any money transaction take place

    The former CS is alleged to have convinced the Polish firm, Eco Advanced Technologies LLC, to pay Ksh11,500,000 to a company known as Pizzle Consultancy Limited to show commitment.

    Echesa got arrested in February, just metres away from Deputy President William Ruto’s Harambee House Annex office.

    He would later be charged with 12 counts of fraud including an alleged attempt to make a document with intent to defraud Polish military dealers.

    Echesa, however, pleaded not guilty and was released on bail.

    Image showing Deputy President William Ruto's Harambee House Annex office
    File image of Deputy President William Ruto’s Harambee House Annex office
    People Daily