The nominee for Cabinet secretary for Sports represents 'the many underprivileged Kenyans who have missed out on opportunities due to family difficulties', according to the Parliamentary Majority Chief Whip.
Benjamin Washiali's glowing tribute comes even as some Kenyans expressed dismay at the selection of Rashid Echesa, the 36-year-old former boxer, to head the Sports docket.
A vetting report by the Leader of Majority, Aden Duale, gives the Echesa a thumbs up as having satisfied the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution on leadership and integrity.
According to the report, Echesa satisfies the threshold and obligations set by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the Kenya Revenue Authority on tax compliance, the Higher Education Loans Board, and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
And in a moving endorsement yesterday by Washiali, the Mumias East MP, Echesa’s story of a difficult childhood drew applause from legislators by way of thumping of feet.
“Isn’t it true that many Kenyans are facing numerous life challenges and many are downtrodden? Echesa represents their aspirations and hopes for a better life,” said Washiali, adding that Mr Echesa was up to the task given his experience as a boxer.
Duale, in his report, said: “His core interest and competence areas include management, planning, implementation and monitoring, civil community based project actualisation, youth empowerment and development as well as human resource mobilisation.”
During the interview, Echesa said his experience as a boxer with Kenya Prisons and a founder of the Western Boxing Association would enable him to look into the welfare of sportsmen and women.
He said that having worked across the political divide, he was confident of winning the hearts of those who doubted him.
“I am a peacemaker and a leader who means well for the country,” Echesa told the vetting panel.
“I will mobilise stakeholders and sports people to register saccos so they can save and buy insurance,” he said.