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Sonko: My wife settled her own bills on New York trip

NAIROBI
By Betty Njeru | December 17th 2020

Governor Mike Sonko has confirmed that indeed his wife and daughter travelled to New York, United States, but paid for the trip via personal means.  

“My wife deposited personal cash. The trip was official and genuine because they were both part of the government delegation confirmed by State House,” he told Senate.

Sonko was answering to accusations that he treated his wife and daughter to a lavish trip to New York City at the expense of the taxpayer.

While being cross-examined, the governor told the Senate plenary that “these are just smear campaigns. My daughter did not spend Sh840M. The amount in question is only Sh2.6M.”

Nairobi County Assembly Minority Leader Michael Ogada had on Wednesday accused Sonko of flying his daughter in a first-class flight to the US which translated into the misappropriation of public funds.

Sonko was also faulted for breaching public trust by signing the Deed of Transfer of crucial county functions to the Nairobi Metrpolitan Service while drunk, to which he answered, “I was told that I am going to be helped and that we are going to work together with the president. I was not told that the General was going to take over the functions.”

Sonko has called his impeachment by the Nairobi County Assembly a political witchhunt.

He told Senate: “The mover of my impeachment motion is playing politics and character assassination.”

The county boss was referring to accusations by Nairobi County MCAs that he diverted bursary funds meant for payment of school fees for needy students to pay lawyers and other county staff.

The money in question is Sh297 million.

Sonko (pictured) defended himself, providing documents, vouchers and bank statements showing where the money was channelled in the 2018/2019 financial year.

He pointed an accusatory finger against Minority leader Michael Ogada for staging allegations without evidence, adding that some MCAs used proxy accounts to withdraw the money.

Sonko: "I refused to release some CDF funds because some MCAs had opened a fake educational institution at River Road which was being run by their families and wives."

He further claimed that some cheques were drawn by the Nairobi County government but on investigating, they found that they were ‘forged’.

“Even before I came to office, money meant for poor children was withdrawn from proxies,” he alleged.

The embattled governor also told Senate that the allegations made by the mover of the Motion- Michael Ogada- were grievous and politically instigated.

“These are just political sideshows. We are being impeached because we are obeying the law, just how it happened during the NMS transfer,” he said.

He is also answering to the charge of bypassing crucial procurement procedures in the building of the Dandora Stadium.

The county boss is facing four main charges among them Gross violation of the Constitution and related laws, abuse of office, gross misconduct, and crimes under the national law.

Earlier, MCA Silvia Museiya defended the governor saying that the voting during the impeachment did not meet the threshold as two-thirds of the members were not present.

She claimed that 57 MCAs did not vote, and as such, Sonko’s impeachment holds no water.

Senate will be voting later in the day to either uphold or reject the ouster motion, after hearing all the evidence.

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