Wiper clears Mike Sonko to contest in Mombasa governorship

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and party officials unveil Mike Mbuvi Sonko to be the party’s Mombasa governor candidate. Ali Mbogo will be his deputy. [Dennis Kavisu, Standard

Wiper has cleared former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko to contest for the Mombasa governorship. 

In what could raise Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s stakes on the negotiating table in the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition, the party gave Sonko the nod to run alongside Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo.

The two will face ODM’s Abdulswamad Nassir in the race. Already, Kalonzo has claimed Nairobi’s deputy governor post, besides lodging a spirited claim to deputy president position in the Azimio ticket.

“The results of the consultations are that Sonko becomes the Wiper governor candidate... that gives you a clear win. The effect of this announcement is that we will give a ticket to the two,” Kalonzo said.

He claimed Mombasa cannot wait for Sonko’s reign: “The whole country anticipates Sonko’s return... he’s loved allover. Sonko has agreed to run for a five year term, and Mbogo will take over the next election.”

Kalonzo also said Sonko had agreed to cede 60 percent of his government to Mbogo, in appreciation of power dynamics of the Coastal city. Wiper has a sizeable support in the county. 

Sonko exuded confidence of replaying Nairobi’s win in Mombasa. He said he deserved to fly the party’s flag over Mbogo on account of his experience. He also said he was Coastal by birth and upbringing.

“Besides the fact that I can run anywhere as a Kenyan, I am also born and raised in Coast. My mother is buried at the Coast,” Sonko said.

First task

He claimed his first task would be to restore Mombasa’s lost glory, and transform it into Africa’s Dubai.  

Sonko claimed he had done his political arithmetics correctly, is convinced Wiper will bag it.

His unveiling came a day after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission  (IEBC) announced that it had not legal basis to bar persons perceived to lack integrity from contesting in the upcoming general election. The former governor was charged with corruption-related offences. The cases are ongoing. 

“Mombasa is bigger than Mbogo. We have decided to come together with Sonko who is a resident of my own constituency. His family lives in my constituency. This is a coalition government at our own level, I hope this agreement will be respected, and honored,” Mbogo said.

Sonko was impeached as Nairobi’s second governor and the county placed under the national government through a special arrangement. At the time of his impeachment, Sonko did not have a deputy.

Polycarp Igathe, his deputy resigned six months after their election. Later, Sonko nominee Ann Kananu assumed office as a governor. On Tuesday evening, Igathe announced he would be running for governor Nairobi.