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Scouts council trashes Sonko's coronation party

By Allan Mungai | September 17th 2020 at 04:00:00 GMT +0300

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko inspects a guard of honour by scouts. [File, Standard]

When he was formally adopted as a member and patron of the Kenya Scouts Association, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was adorned with the full scout uniform complete with a symbolic scarf and a brown wide-brimmed hat with a strange gold band. 

Before she handed each item to the governor, Nairobi County Scouts Commissioner Alice Kihungi explained the symbolism to a rather bemused Sonko.

"This is an instrument you can use as a bandage when you have injuries," she put it around Sonko's neck, the governor nodded.

She then put the hat on Sonko's head, in similar manner of instruction; "when it is raining, this hat will act as an umbrella. When it is hot, it will cover you from the hot sun. It is also symbolic of protection, a symbol of leadership. You are a national leader and our governor," Sonko shook his head with verve.

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Were Sonko's eyes not hidden behind dark shades, perhaps we would have seen in his eyes the weight of the symbolism of the items he was receiving. Protection. Leadership.

Guard of honour

Undeterred, Sonko inspected the guard of honour with the dark shades, zero eye contact with the troop.

Being one who is overly scrutinised, Sonko's pictures of the event were shared widely on social media. One user even suggested that, in his matching khaki scouts uniform and his trousers tucked in his boots, Sonko was a major-general in his own right like Mohammed Badi the man supplanting him in Nairobi.

Yet, the universe could not spare Sonko a moment to bask in his new position as Nairobi County Scout Patron. Yesterday, the Kenya Scouts Association (KSA) distanced itself from the installation of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko as the Nairobi County Scout Patron.

The association issued a statement dissociating itself from the coronation ceremony conducted last Friday at the Nairobi Railways Ground.

Sonko was also named the representative of the World Scouts Parliamentary Union at the Council of Governors.

The statement signed by former Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, who is the chair of the Kenya Scout Council, and Victor Radido, the Chief Commissioner and chair of the National Scout Board, said the installation was illegal.

KSA also sought to clear the impression that Sonko was now the National Scout Patron, an honour that was bestowed upon President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013.

The association raised several grounds for calling Sonko's installation a farce. Primarily being that such an honour can only be granted by the National Scout Board.

The board said it had not approved the installation and it had also failed to meet other critical requirements.

The approval for installation of National and County Leaders as Volunteer leaders of the Kenya scouts association is a preserve of the National Scout Board, they said.

"The approval must be conducted in accordance with the Kenya Scouts Association constitution and other standard operating procedures which include meeting set criteria," said the statement. 

Sonko's ceremony was officiated by commissioners of Kenya Scouts Association who, the organisation said, were not appointed by the chief commissioner to carry out the task.

"An installation ceremony is a solemn scout ceremony and must be officiated by either the sitting chief commissioner or, in his absence, a National Commissioner of the Kenya Scouts Association who he/she must have delegated the task to," the statement read.

The association further revealed that it wrote to Sonko on September 10 advising him against proceeding with his installation since he was yet to meet the set criteria.

Kenya Scouts Association Mike Sonko Alice Kihungi
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