I will bring you down, Passaris warns Sonko

Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris (right), flanked by Nominated Senator Agnes Zani addressing delegates at Mombasa's Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa in Mombasa County. [Maarufu Mohamed/Standard]
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris has fought back against a vicious online attack against her, accusing her critics of being sexists and liars.

Ms Passaris singled out Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who she vowed to bring down.

Speaking yesterday at the second annual Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra) conference in Mombasa, Passaris dismissed an online campaign against her, describing it as sexist and deceitful.

The public spat between Ms Passaris and Sonko began on Madaraka Day after the woman rep criticised the governor during celebrations in Nairobi.

Sonko’s response saw Passaris walk out of the celebrations in protest.

Later, an online smear campaign against Passaris emerged, including one on Facebook, where unsavoury remarks are directed against her moments after a local television station terminated an interview with Sonko citing editorial quality issues.

Now Passaris says she is not going to take it lying down but will instead take the battle to Sonko’s doorstep.

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“I am going to bring down Sonko because it is ridiculous that we have such a governor,” she told  an applauding audience yesterday.

Online pictures

“People have cautioned me not to bring him down because he will drag my name in the dirt, but I remain committed in my quest to bring him down,” she said.

Passaris dismissed lurid online pictures depicting her with Sonko, saying they were photoshopped. She said after offering a reward of Sh10,000, she was able to trace the source of the photos with the help of social media users “within hours”.

She used the opportunity to respond to another wave of online onslaught against her, this time revolving around her manner of dressing accusing her critics of misjudged priorities.

“Don’t judge me for what I wear. What I wear is not your business, how I do my job is your business,” she said.

Passaris criticised leaders who go to great lengths to paint female leaders in negative light while at the same time purporting to encourage them to join politics.

She further criticised sexism and gender-based violence in Kenya’s politics.

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Nairobi Women Rep Esther PassarisGovernor Mike SonkoSonko-Passaris drama