Governors want to meet Uhuru over Mike Sonko

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is escorted by police officers at Wilson Airport on Friday last week after his arrest in Voi. [Reuters]
The Council of Governors (CoG) urgently wants to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta over the leadership crisis in Nairobi County, following the arrest of Governor Mike Sonko.

It is not clear when Uhuru will honour the request.

The President today said no leader would use their position to escape prosecution. He added that leaders found guilty of corruption should carry their own cross.

He was speaking at St Francis of Asisi Catholic Church in Ruiru town during a fundraiser.

SEE ALSO :Four months of toil, but no sign of pay for city workers

Sonko was arrested on Friday in Voi and is being held over the loss of Sh357 million.

He is facing charges of conspiracy to commit economic crime, willful failure to comply with the law and conflict of interest.

Sonko has been running City Hall without a deputy since January 12, 2018, when Polycarp Igathe resigned as his deputy.

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In a statement on Sunday, CoG, the body that brings together all the 47 county chiefs, said it has been monitoring and consulting widely.

“We are, however, aware of the uniqueness of the County Government and therefore shall reach out to President Uhuru Kenyatta to convene an emergency Summit to address the evolving situation,” the council chair Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said.

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Unlike the past where the council defended its own, the statement did not put up a case for embattled Sonko.

In 2018 when Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong was questioned over Sh20 million fraud allegations, the council said devolution is under threat.

The CoG took offence over how the governor was treated.

Sonko is set to be charged tomorrow after anti-corruption judge Justice John Onyiengo denied the application to release him on bail on Friday.

SEE ALSO :Sonko challenges investors to take advantage of county incentives

His possible prosecution might bring with it unexplored legal options owing to the precedence set by High Court Judge, Justice Mumbi Ngugi barring charged governors from accessing their officers.

Governors Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) and Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu) were barred from accessing their offices which were declared “scenes of crime”. Their deputies took over the running of the counties.

For Nairobi, Speaker Beatrice Elachi could be the acting governor.

The Constitution states that the office of the governor shall become vacant if the holder of the office dies, resigns, ceases to be eligible to be elected county governor; is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for at least 12 months or is removed from office under the Constitution.

The law also states that in the event a vacancy occurs in the office of county governor and that of deputy county governor, or if the deputy county governor is unable to act, the speaker of the county assembly shall act as county governor, but only for sixty (60) days.

SEE ALSO :City Hall to spend over Sh120m on city askaris

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Mike SonkoUhuru KenyattaCouncil of Governors