Former sports minister Rashid Echesa has asked a Nairobi court to order the release of his impounded high-end car so as to allow him make necessary travels.
Echesa, through his lawyer Bryan Khaemba, told Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate that ever since his vehicle was confiscated on March 2, 2020, he has been forced to use public transport.
On March 11, 2020, Echesa filed an application in court seeking to have his vehicle, a Range Rover model of registration plate KCR 786H, returned to him.
Echesa, through his legal rep, told the court that by being “reduced to using public transport, he — as a former cabinet minister — was subjected to embarrassment and loss of dignity”.
And now, Khaemba has gone back to court on his client’s behalf; this time around, arguing Echesa could catch coronavirus – “which is life-threatening” — should he continue using public transport.
In the March 11 application, Echesa also urged the court to instruct the DCI to release his two pistols, arguing that being a former Cabinet minister, his life can be on the line, and, therefore, he needs the guns to enhance his security.
He wanted the firearms — a Beretta 92 and a Ceska pistol — released pending the hearing and determination of his case.
Also confiscated, Echesa claimed, were his 104 9mm rounds of ammunition, three gun holsters and a Ceska magazine.
The Prosecution told Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot that they hadn’t received a copy of Echesa’s application, and, therefore, they could not go on with the case on March 11.
And now, Echesa’s lawyer, Khaemba, says over two months since he filed the application, the State is yet to respond, and the matter has, thus, stalled in court.
“Let the vehicle and his firearms be released until the State is ready to respond to the application,” said Khaemba.
“It is almost three months since the application was filed in court [and there is no progress on the matter]. It is against logic why the case was filed under a certificate of urgency,” added the lawyer.
Khaemba revealed that Echesa has been forced to stay home most times, as he can’t “risk his life” by hopping onto a PSV, “where there are higher chances of catching COVID-19”.
State Counsel, Jacinta Nyamosi, told Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot that they hadn’t filed a response to Echesa’s application because of the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, which disrupted their operations.
Nyamosi asked the magistrate to grant her two days to file a response.
Allowing the State rep’s request, Cheruiyot directed Nyamosi to ensure that she doesn’t fail in meeting the obligation because Echesa’s application was filed under a “certificate of urgency”, hence it is a serious matter.
In his Tuesday, May 19 request, Echesa asked the court to substitute his Ksh1 million bail with a surety bond, saying he “wants to use the money (Ksh1 million) for other purposes”.