EACC detectives arrest businessman Praful Kumar for 'attempting' to bribe Sonko

EACC detectives arrest businessman Praful Kumar on suspicion he tried to bribe Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to allow the construction of a hotel. [EACC twitter handle]

Businessman Praful Kumar was on Monday arrested by Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) detectives on suspicion of attempting to bribe Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko.

 Kumar who was at his Kanamai home in Kilifi County at the time of the arrest has denied the EAAC claims.

According to a statement released by EACC on Twitter, Mr Praful was found in possession of Sh5 million. However, Mike Sonko's office says that Mr Praful only offered Kshs. 1 million to the Governor. 

The Anti-corruption body confirmed that the Nairobi businessman will be arraigned in court today after processing. It also claimed that Mr Praful wanted Governor Sonko to allow the construction of his hotel in Gigiri which was stopped by the Nairobi County Government on Thursday, August 16.

“EACC has arrested Nairobi businessman Praful Kumar for offering a bribe of Ksh.1 million to Nairobi Governor Michael Mbuvi Sonko to facilitate approval of his hotel under construction. The County Government of Nairobi had stopped the construction of the hotel on 16th August 2018,” said the EACC tweet.

The arrest of Mr Praful opens another chapter in Governor Mike Sonko's personality that many Kenyan businessmen are yet to understand. Sonko has over the past few months exposed his associates, friends and foes in equal measure.

And it did not start, recently he once had a senior traffic police officer in Buru arrested after he allegedly demanded a bribe to release a Sonko matatu that had pounded for flouting traffic laws.

Last week, Governor Sonko treated Kenyans to drama when he ordered the re-arrest of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu's wife Susan Wangare and 14 others - just minutes after promising to release her without a charge.

In a conversation between Sonko and Waititu, the Nairobi Governor seemed to have ordered the arrest after facing scathing attacks from Kenyan Online Community.

Governor Mike Sonko was in the news recently for recording and releasing a conversation in which Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu pleaded with him to release his wife after she was arrested for putting up a building without county approvals. [File, Standard]

Sonko who had leaked the video of a conversation between him and Governor Waititu reversed his orders, and later on directed Nairobi County’s Enforcement Officer, Mr Ochanda to arrest Mrs Waititu alongside contractors who were working on the renovations of a building housing Jamii Bora bank and Delta Hotel for illegal construction of the buildings in the Central Business District.

The arrest came amid the National Environment Management Authority's efforts to reclaim riparian reserves.

In December 2017, through his Facebook account, Sonko released a conversation between him and his former deputy, Polycarp Igathe – in attempts to show how close they were professionally. But in a dramatic move, Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe later quit his position and attributed it to his own failure to win the trust of his boss, Governor Mike Sonko.

The move finally lifted the lid on the uneasy relationship between the pair that has been running the affairs of Kenya’s capital city for the last five months. “Dear Nairobians, it is with heavy heart that I resign my seat as the deputy governor of Nairobi City County,” he said in a letter to the media.

Sonko’s love for wiretapping and taping his conversations with people run deep and is as stealth as a professional investigator.

In a different tweet, EACC says its detectives have arrested Michael Njogu Mburu for masquerading as a Kenya Power Inspector. He demanded, the tweet says, a bribe of Sh200,000 to stop action against the complainant whom he accused of tampering with the electricity meter. He will be charged in Court on Wednesday.