Nairobi News


Five mistakes which might have led to Echesa’s dismissal from the cabinet

Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa is now jobless. President Uhuru Kenyatta fired him on Friday with Amina Mohammed replacing him at Kencom House.

But what, just could have cost the fiery and vibrant Echesa his job?

1. Academic qualifications – Right from the day he was appointed, there were suggestions that Echesa was not the right man for the job. Even during his vetting, there were murmurs that he wasn’t the right man for the job. Rumours were also flying around about his experience and educational background, amid reports that he never stepped into High School. These were however never substantiated.

2. Politicking – It is believed Echesa is one of the CSs President Uhuru Kenyatta referred to when he recently warned his cabinet members to concentrate on working and stop politicking. In the early days of his tenure at the Ministry of Sports, Echesa would consistently either be found addressing rallies in his home turf or addressing political issues a bit more compared to policy statements.

3. Performance – Granted, Kenya registered successes in the sporting arena in the 18-months Echesa was at the helm. These include Harambee Stars’ qualification to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Gor Mahia’s impressive run on the continental front and Eliud Kipchoge’s record-breaking exploits.

The common argument, however, remains that these successes would have happened with or without the main man. On the flip side, Echesa will certainly shoulder some of the responsibility following the admission that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pet project of building five state-of-the-art stadiums had failed.

Then there was the delay to renovate the existing stadiums, a situation which embarrassingly led to Kenya being denied the chance to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championship.

4. Scandals – Most of these might have never been proven, but Echesa’s name somehow cropped up when not so positive stuff was discovered. The most glaring ones were when his images in an uncompromising private moment went viral. Then there was a moment he was reported to have handed work permits to some foreigners who were later found entertaining ‘revelers’ at a high-end night club in the city.

5. Frosty relationship with colleagues? – Recently, Sports Principal Secretary, Kirimi Kaberia, had to publicly address questions over his reported fallout with Echesa. But this didn’t stop Kaberia from seemingly appearing to be his own man at the Sports department. He regularly appeared at press briefings and seemed keen on single-handedly discussing the future of sports in the country. For those keen on body language, it appears he knew much more than the ordinary man.