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Sonko promises to use 'Rescue Team' to clean up Mombasa

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko during an interview with 'The Standard', April 24, 2022. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko says it is his right to vie for office again despite impeachment in December 2020.

Sonko will vie for Mombasa governor on Wiper ticket after a deal brokered by the party Kalonzo Musyoka saw Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo step down in his favour.

The former governor was removed from office after 88 members of the Nairobi County Assembly voted in support of his impeachment which was upheld by the Senate 14 days later.

He was impeached over gross violation of the Constitution, abuse of office, misconduct and crimes against national law.

The law is silent on whether an impeached governor can run for office, and critics have said this is an assault on Chapter Six of the Constitution which calls for integrity in leadership.

However, Sonko maintains that even though the county assembly and Senate found him culpable of the accusations lodged against him, he remains innocent until the courts determine his appeal on the matter.

The High Court and Court of Appeal upheld his impeachment and Sonko filed an appeal before the Supreme Court.

The former governor says the law should be applied equally to all and should not also be used as a weapon to target certain individuals.

He argues that other leaders such as former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu were also impeached but were not struck off the UDA party list in the Kiambu nominations.

“The Constitution of Kenya supersedes everything. All these other things are hearsay for now. The same Constitution offers provision that every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” said Sonko.

The former governor defends his decision to move to Mombasa county saying it was occasioned by conflict of interest between him and the state over Nairobi county.

He further says that through guidance from the Wiper leader he decided to advance his political career in the coastal county.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka. [ Elvis Ogina, Standard]

“He (Kalonzo) told me, 'Listen, my boy, go to Mombasa. There’s a lot of conflict and interest in Nairobi. Let it be'. Because I respect him, I accepted,” says Sonko.

The former governor promises to eradicate poverty and drug abuse in Coast.

“We are going to deal with issues of poor drainage and poverty even before the elections. We are going to use the Sonko rescue team to do what we did in Nairobi,” he says.

Sonko criticised the push and pull in nominations saying that there is “no democracy in this country.”

“Where we are heading to as a country, something needs to be fixed. There are women and young people who have been exploited in the nomination process. Kenyans need to go to the ballot to elect leaders in the forthcoming elections,” he says.

He supports the decision by the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya to settle on his former deputy Polycarp Igathe as Nairobi governor candidate saying he is a “performer” who has excelled in the corporate space.

However, the former governor believes that the tug of war witnessed within Azimio over the Nairobi race that saw Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi and businessman Richard Ngatia dropped would have been solved through nominations.

Sonko argues that there are no permanent enemies in politics and citizens should never resort to violence because of politicians.

He cites the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga who were political rivals.

“As politicians, we are the biggest hypocrites. The conflicts we have in politics only happen on the podiums. The next day we are laughing together. It is only the citizens who are the losers in this conflict,” he says.

Sonko will battle out in the Mombasa governor with Mvita MP Abdulswamad Shariff (ODM) and former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar (UDA).