Former Sports minister Rashid Echesa says ever since his vehicles were impounded by DCI detectives on March 2 over fraud allegations, he has been “reduced to using public transport, hence subjecting him to embarrassment and loss of dignity”.
Through his lawyer, Bryan Khaemba, Echesa — on Wednesday, March 11 — filed an application in court seeking to have his car, a Range Rover model of registration plate KCR 786H, returned to him.
Echesa has listed, among others, the DCI as the respondents in the suit.
“The respondents’ continued confiscation of the vehicle has subjected me to embarrassment and loss of dignity because I am now forced to use public transport, and even sometimes travel on foot,” says Echesa in his application.
The former Cabinet Secretary insists that the said-Range Rover is his personal property, and that he did not acquire it through fraudulent means as alleged by DCI.
“The respondents are required by law to protect my dignity. They have, however, subjected my car to vandalism and rot where it is impounded at the DCI headquarters,” says Echesa.
Ksh23 million car
To prove that he is the legitimate owner of the high-end motor vehicle, the ex-minister attached the sale agreement document, which allegedly shows he bought the car from Qutbi Investment Limited in Nairobi.
The agreement shows that Echesa first deposited Ksh10 million to Qutbi’s bank account, and settled a balance of Ksh10 million before the vehicle’s ownership was transferred to him.
The documents further revealed that the car was priced at Ksh23 million, and that the remaining Ksh3 million was to be paid in installments across five months.
The sale agreement shows that the vehicle was officially handed over to Echesa on September 4, 2018.
‘Return my guns too’
In the application, Echesa is also urging 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 wants the firearms — a Beretta 92 and a Ceska pistol — released pending the hearing and determination of his case.
Also confiscated, Echesa claims, were his 104 9mm rounds of ammunition, three gun holsters and a Ceska magazine.
The Prosecution told Milimani 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 Wednesday.
Principal Magistrate Cheruiyot set March 23, 2020 as the hearing date of Echesa’s application.
Karen home raid
On March 2, DCI detectives raided Echesa’s home in Karen, Nairobi and confiscated five of his cars over claims that he had fraudulently acquired some of the vehicles.
The vehicles included a Toyota Land Cruiser V8 of registration plate KCW 289Q, a Toyota Lexus of number plate KBY 750U, a Volkswagen of registration number KAY 388A, a Mercedes-Benz of number plate KCL 350J and a pick-up.
A day after the vehicles were impounded, the DCI detectives said they had established that the registration number KCW 289Q of the Toyota Land Cruiser V8 was forged.
The detectives traced the registration number KCW 289Q to another vehicle — a Mazda belonging to one Irene Mueni.
Consequently, the DCI appealed to Mueni to present herself to the detectives to assist in the investigations.
Echesa, his friend and the contested V8
Echesa was accused of forging the registration details of a vehicle belonging to his deceased friend, one Patrick Akifuma, who died on March 14, 2016.
According to a police affidavit, Echesa would occasionally hire one of the deceased’s cars, a Toyota Land Cruiser V8, which he allegedly failed to return after his friend’s death.
Akifuma’s wife, Esther Kabura, told authorities that she later discovered that Echesa had fraudulently transferred ownership of the said-motor vehicle to his own name.
Following his March 2 arrest, Echesa was freed unconditionally as investigations into the alleged fraudulent acquisition of cars continued.
The former minister is also on the spot over alleged fake firearms tender arrangement valued at Ksh39 billion. He is out on Ksh1 million cash bail.