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Mike 'Sonko': I'm not as wealthy as people think

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Updated Sun, September 26th 2010 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Athman Amran

When I finally caught up with him after almost a week of trying to pin him down for an interview, Makadara MP-elect Mike Mbuvi Kioko aka Sonko was still reluctant to disclose how much he spent on the campaigns.

But the flashy 35-year-old politician talked to The Standard On Sunday on how he accumulated his wealth and how he nearly failed to get a ticket to vie for the Makadara parliamentary seat on grounds he was a non-starter.

Makadara MP-elect Mike Kioko Mbuvi. Photo: File/Standard

The parties that dismissed him were Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM, Water Minister Charity Ngilu’s Narc, Kilome MP Harun Mwau’s Party of Independent Candidates, and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s ODM-Kenya.

Secret weapon

"When I sought nomination from ODM, I was turned away on the excuse that Reuben Ndolo had done a lot for the party and had a lot of political experience," Mbuvi said during an interview inside his Hummer in Buru Buru.

His ‘secret weapon’ was support from the youth whom he had helped in many ways. They are the ones who gave him the name ‘Sonko’ – sheng for a man of means.

"Although I had set my eyes on the 2012 General Election, the youth wanted me to vie in the by-election when the Makadara seat fell vacant after an election petition by Ndolo," said Mbuvi.

So how did he accumulate his wealth?

Sonko’s wealth is traced to Mombasa where he was born and educated. There, his father ran a property and real estate agency, Pelly Properties, which he co-owned with another businessman.

After completing primary school at Kikowani Primary School in Mombasa, Mbuvi started getting more involved in his father’s business. At the time he was a student at Kwale High School, Kwale County.

"My father was a developer and used to sell beach plots at the Coast to European buyers. He made good profits because he bought the plots cheaply," Mbuvi told The Standard On Sunday.

He said he made Sh5 million working for his father when he was in Form Four in Kwale High in 1991.

Despite qualifying to go to university, he decided business was his calling. Instead, he took a course in Business Administration and Management at Edxcel International School in Mwanza and Pwani Business College.

At the time, his father and business partner split Pelly Properties. Mbuvi’s father started Gidson Properties where the young man, fresh from school, was the sales and marketing manager.

Mbuvi relocated to Nairobi in 1994 where he bought eight matatus, which plied the Kibera route.

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