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Mike Sonko: I have betrayed the people of Nairobi

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Former Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko says he was eyeing the Nairobi gubernatorial seat before he was allegedly arm-twisted by his party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Sonko, who was impeached in December 2020 for abuse of office, says he had opted to vie for the seat on an independent ticket but later changed his mind.

The former city boss proclaimed his support for the Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga's presidential bid ahead of the August 9, General Election.

"I have betrayed the people of Nairobi yet they have never betrayed me. I wanted to vie in Nairobi but because of the respect I give Kalonzo, I did not."

"He [Kalonzo] said there was a lot of interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial seat and because I respect him, I accepted [to vie for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat]. I was not rejected by the great people of Nairobi," Sonko said.

Sonko, however, expressed displeasure with the manner in which the party primaries were conducted by various parties.

"There is no democracy in this country and something needs to be done. Kenyans need to go to the ballot and vote for their preferred candidate. What party leaders are doing is wrong," he added.

Sonko is among candidates who will square it out to succeed incumbent Governor, Hassan Ali Joho.

The former County boss will battle it out with Mvita MP Adbulswamad Nassir, who is eyeing the seat on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket, and United Democratic Alliance’s former Mombasa Senator, Hassan Omar.

Sonko’s candidature under Wiper, a party affiliated with Azimio, could, however, turn out to be a double-edged sword for the coalition as the wrangling could aid Omar to capitalise on the split to win control of the county.

“This should be a friendly match and I vow to bring development to Mombasa. We will address joblessness, employment. We will have a clean-up exercise,” assured Sonko.