Echesa: I want to get the academic papers people keep talking about
Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has hinted that he is now ready to go back to school.
In his first engagement with the media since he lost his job at the start of the month, Echesa also claimed that it is the tussle for control of the multi-billion shillings Sports Fund kitty which ultimately cost him his job.
“I am a politician. I am also young and time is definitely on my side. It’s back to the drawing board, kujipanga (to strategize). Who knows, I could as well have those academic papers that people keep talking about,” Echesa told the Sunday Nation in an exclusive interview.
Echesa has often been forced to fight back claims from his opponents and critics that he never went to secondary school and thus is not qualified to hold political office.
The youthful politician also painted a troubled picture of the current Cabinet, revealing that most Cabinet Secretaries are a ‘worried lot’ owing to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s mood swings.
“I can tell with the benefit of hindsight that the CSs are not sitting pretty. They are not settled, always worried about being told off in public and possibly being sacked,” said Echesa.
The Sports Fund is a kitty set aside by the government to among other things renovate sports infrastructure and fund all national teams representing the country in international engagements.
“The National Sports Fund was one of the problems (I faced). I can confirm that the first batch of the Sh4 billion (of this fund) was credited to the Sports Ministry’s account on Tuesday, a few days before I was shown the door on Friday,” he said.
Echesa was dramatically relieved of his duties by President Uhuru Kenyatta and replaced by Amina Mohammed.
Looking back at his 14-month tenure, Echesa listed Harambee Stars’ qualification to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after a 15-month absence, Kenya’s sterling performance at the 2018 World Youth Championship, and renovation of Kasarani and Nyayo stadiums as some of his achievements.