Governor’s love-hate relations with Uhuru's Jubilee party

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. [File, Standard]
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has had an on-and-off relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s handlers and the Jubilee Party hierarchy.

The wars between Sonko and people close to Uhuru intensified shortly before last year’s elections when the governor, then Nairobi senator, alleged a plot to lock him out of the contest citing a hitch in processing his certificate of good conduct.

On March 16, 2017, he told The Standard that a senior official in the Office of the President had given police instructions to deny him the document ahead of a party deadline for aspirants to pick their nomination papers.

“There is a senior official at OP who is behind all this. I am told the system and some top party officials have plotted to lock me out of the JP nomination,” Sonko said at the time.

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Before this, Sonko had clashed with 11 Nairobi MPs who he had accused of ganging up against him in favour of former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth.

Having defied the odds and getting elected as Nairobi’s second governor, Sonko, who has retained close working relations with Uhuru, has never shied away from taking on his critics, some of who are top civil servants.

Sonko’s outbursts

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has been the most consistent mention in Sonko’s outbursts before and after the elections.   

The governor blames the PS for his woes, citing a directive to bar him from using two flags on his official car and the decision to withdraw more than 20 police officers attached to him.  

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Asked about these claims, Mr Kibicho said, “They have paranoia, which needs to be cured. Let them deal with their accusations and accusers. Let them carry their own cross instead of shouting Kibicho’s name.”

Last week, Sonko was in the news accusing some State officers of undermining him after he was removed from a list of speakers on National Tree Planting Day in Nairobi. He stood up to speak as Deputy President William Ruto was about to begin his speech.

“The State House programme is very clear I am supposed to speak after the anthem then invite the minister who is to invite the DP,” he said.

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president uhuru kenyattagovernor mike sonkojubilee party