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Sonko ‘retaliates’ after Mutua’s inspection of Nairobi statutes

POLITICS
By Erastus Mulwa | June 27th 2019

Nairobi County Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko at Machakos Law courts today to protest the arrest of workers of former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile for operating what the county government described as restaurant that flouted public health and environmental laws. [John Muia/Standard]

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Thursday stormed Machakos town and staged a dramatic criticism of his Machakos counterpart, Dr Alfred Mutua. The move has been seen as a retaliatory after Dr Mutua toured Nairobi CBD and criticized him for neglecting of statutes of Tom Mboya and Dedan Kimathi.

Sonko arrived in Machakos flanked by MPs Patrick Makau (Mavoko), Daniel Maanzo (Makueni) and businessman Kalembe Ndile- whose restaurant; Macha Be was closed down by Machakos County government over health and environmental concerns.

But in a swift rejoinder, Dr Mutua maintained the closure of Kalembe’s eatery was a necessary measure to safeguard environmental and public health interest.

Six employees who were arrested during the swoop on Macha Be were released on bond after pleading not guilty to various offenses before Senior Resident Magistrate, Irene Kahuya.

Addressing a crowd outside Machakos police station, Sonko hurled unprintable insults at Mutua, saying due process was not followed in the arrest of the six individuals.

“We shall do our best to ensure those who were arrested are properly represented in court in order for justice to prevail,” said Sonko.

Sonko said he was ready to fund any poor citizen with good leadership qualities to seek an elective position in the next general election.

In statement signed by by his press secretary Mutinda Mwanzia, Dr Mutua said:  “A joint team of county and national government officers visited the facility and discovered several serious glaring illegalities and malpractices and required the proprietor to comply with all relevant regulations.” 

Among the items Kalembe had not complied with include valid food and hygiene licence, medical certificates for food handlers and authorisation from Kenya Wildlife Service allowing him to keep wild birds.

Mwanzia also said the facility had been constructed on riparian area and that the building was not approved as per the Physical Planning Act.

“We wish to reiterate that Machakos government believes in the rule of law and equality of all before the law. If small traders including mama mboga are complying with these legal requirements, it is absurd for big fish like Kalembe to run a way and start invoking cheap politics,” he said.

During his tour in Nairobi Governor Mutua hit out at some Kenyan politicians who he accused of engaging in endless populist politics which did not improve the livelihoods of millions of poor Kenyans. He challenged political leaders to change their mindset and focus on addressing poverty and corruption which he cited as Kenya’s worst enemies.

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