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No end to Sonko’s woes amid fresh impeachment threats

By Standard Reporter | Published Sun, June 10th 2018 at 00:00, Updated June 9th 2018 at 23:46 GMT +3
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko

In summary

  • There is a creeping feeling within Jubilee that they can no longer control Sonko
  • Situation between the governor and the government worsened last week after Kenya Power plunged City Hall in darkness over a Sh990 million debt

?Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is preparing for the fight of his life as some quarters within the Jubilee Party debate on whether to make good their threat and impeach him.

With the governor’s relationship with those running the party and some government officials having gone from bad to worse, there is a creeping feeling within Jubilee that they can no longer work with Sonko.

The bad blood between the governor and the government went a notch higher last week after State-owned Kenya Power plunged City Hall into darkness over a Sh990 million debt.

String of actions

The switch off happened as the county government and the power distributor engaged in talks over a debt swap, a move power players at City Hall have seen as the latest in a string of actions meant to frustrate the governor.

“Those are just smoke screens, the same people behind the fake impeachment petition you saw circulating this week are the same ones behind the power cuts,” said a source at City Hall.

“The national government owes us at minimum Sh100 billion especially in land rates but you haven’t seen us clamp down their building, have you? This is purely politics meant to paint City Hall in bad light,” said the source.

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In retaliation, City Hall has been clamping down Kenya Power’s vehicles parked in the CBD for non-payment of parking fees. As the flexing of muscles between the governor and the State continues, it emerged that City Hall had wired Sh357 million meant for bursaries to the account of an Australian university.

In a recent interview with the Sunday Standard, the governor whose relationship with his party has kept on deteriorating with each coming day said he was ready to face off with his enemies.

“Any county can impeach their boss, but what mistake have I committed? Nairobi is a unique county; it cannot be transformed into a Dubai in six months. I have kept cool for long enough so if they want us to play politics, it is game on,” he said.

Among the issues that have further driven a wedge between Sonko and Jubilee operatives is his decision to stick to the nomination of Miguna Miguna as Deputy Governor.

The County Assembly, which returned from recess on Tuesday avoided speaking about the nomination, concentrating instead on the budget. Those in the know say the governor is yet to officially submit Miguna’s as a nominee for the position of Deputy Governor as directed by Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi last month.

It is not known why Sonko does not want to nominate Miguna as required by law but it is believed that the delay is being caused by push and pull within the Jubilee Party.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had kept his cool over the Miguna Saga finally waded in when he told off the governor during a title deed presentation at Jacaranda grounds last week.

“Sonko has said that I should not be afraid and I should not be threatened by the Miguna issue. I want to tell him and everyone else, that I respect all Kenyans, but I am not threatened by anybody,” said the President.

No governor has ever been successfully impeached in the country since the onset of devolution, therefore it would be interesting to see how the drama pans out.

Speaker Elachi has remained mum on the issue, but City Hall insiders say Sonko’s stonewalling of City Hall recruitment has also stoked the impeachment fires.

Hiring of about 800 county askaris stalled a while ago despite the county system shortlisting qualified candidates. Unconfirmed reports indicate the governor wanted his Sonko Rescue Team members absorbed in the county administration through the recruitment.

Yesterday, NASA co-principle Musalia Mudavadi said Jubilee should take responsibility of the mess at City Hall and save Kenyans the embarrassment of “tower of Babel” in the country’s capital city.

“President JF Kennedy who said that the ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. What is happening in Nairobi is a wake-up call, not just for Nairobi voters but all voters in the country,” Mudavadi said.  

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