Former Sports CS Rashid Echesa at JKIA court on Friday, February 14, 2020.
Former Sports CS Rashid Echesa at JKIA court on Friday, February 14, 2020.

By Correspondent

Deputy President William Ruto has once again defended himself against claims linking him to a Sh39 billion military equipment tender scam former Sports CS Rashid Echesa has been adversely mentioned in.

The DP on Sunday questioned whether those involved in the scam visited the Department of Defence and who facilitated the meetings.

In a tweet, Ruto said, “ODP (Office of the Deputy President) does not procure for any ministry/department. Question: Other than 23min in Annex, for months, which government offices involved in the ‘tender’ did the scammers visit? Did they access DoD? Who facilitated? Who did they meet? Get the truth. Forget the sponsored nonsense in media.”

On Saturday, Ruto lashed out at the Standard newspaper which ran a story linking him to the scam.

The DP accused his rivals of being behind an alleged ‘smear campaign’ against him.

“The desperation of my political competitors on their choreographed smear campaign against William Ruto is evident even for fools (whom we have a shortage for) to see,” he said in a tweet.

Ruto was roped into the scam following allegations the deal was negotiated and signed at Harambee House Annex, which houses the Deputy President’s office.

However, Ruto took to Twitter to say, “Just wait and see where this will end up. Washindwe! Go for the fraudsters. Leave me to serve the nation.”

Echesa was on Friday charged with forgery over the deals and ordered to deposit Sh1 million bail.

He will however spend the weekend in custody as the police complete their investigations.

He was arrested alongside Daniel Otieno Omondi, Kennedy Oyoo Mboya and Clifford Okoth, who will also remain in custody until police conclude investigations.

Echesa was grilled for the entire day on Thursday, before being charged in court the following day.

He is said to have used the Office of the Deputy President and the signature of the Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma to cut the deal for the supply military surveillance equipment and guns.

The complainant is an American based in Poland. He claims Echesa had promised to link him to a Sh39.5 billion military tender.