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Bid to impeach Sonko falters as MCAs make about-turn

By Josphat Thiongo and Michael Chepkwony | December 1st 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Police arrest Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko moments after dispersing his meeting with MCAs at a private residence at Riverside Drive in Nairobi yesterday. [Samson Wire and David Njaaga, Standard]

An attempt to oust Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has taken a new twist after 82 ward reps denied appending their signatures in favour of his removal.

A motion to remove Sonko from office was launched last week by Minority Leader Michael Ogada.

Mr Ogada tabled the notice of impeachment with a list of 86 MCAs he claimed had appended their signatures to allow the process to start.

MCAs want to kick out Sonko for failing to approve a Sh37.4 billion budget to facilitate the operations undertaken by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

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They accused the governor of gross violation of the law, misuse of office and inability to run the county government.

But the bid, which had gained momentum, is quickly falling apart after 82 out of 122 MCAs drawn from Jubilee and ODM yesterday said they would not participate in the exercise.

They claimed the names and forged signatures of several MCAs who were loyal to Sonko and opposed to his ouster had been included in the list used to push for the impeachment.

In a press briefing yesterday, the MCAs declared their unwavering loyalty to Sonko and accused unnamed persons of arm-twisting and coercing them in a bid to ensure the embattled governor was removed from office.

“We shall not participate in the impeachment on Thursday. We are appealing for dialogue between Nairobi Metropolitan Services and the governor to end the stalemate,” said Waithaka MCA Anthony Karanja.

Karanja said Sonko was being forced to approve the budget which he claimed had three contradicting versions.

“We are behind NMS but the attempt to spoil Sonko’s name will not work. We shall not allow that to happen. We need dialogue,” said Karanja.

Kayole South MCA Fredrick Okeyo said there was another attempt to provoke chaos in the assembly noting that there was a need for Sonko and President Uhuru Kenyatta to dialogue on the issues affecting Nairobi.

The tense presser was interrupted by armed police who stormed the private residence in Riverside where Sonko and the MCAs had a meeting before addressing the media.

Police were duped into storming a hotel in Riverside after they got wind of the meeting. By the time they made it to the actual venue, the MCAs were concluding their presser where Sonko was present but did not address the media.

At first, police allowed Sonko to address the media but a scuffle with MCAs prompted the officers to evacuate the governor and use teargas to scatter them.

Failed attempt

The impeachment motion scheduled for Thursday comes after another failed attempt to remove Sonko from office in January through a notice of impeachment motion tabled by Makongeni MCA Peter Imwatok.

The Nairobi County Assembly had invited members of the public to submit their memoranda on the ouster process of Sonko ahead of the Thursday, December 3, 2020 motion debate.

The announcement was made by Assembly Clerk Edward Gichana who said that the move was in line with article 196(1) of the Constitution. 

“The Constitution provides that a county assembly shall facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business of the assembly and its committees. Members of the public are consequently requested to submit any representations they may have on the issues raised in the aforesaid notice of impeachment motion,” stated the clerk through a notice published in the local dailies. 

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko MCAs Nairobi County Assembly Sonko impeachment
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