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Up, up and … away: The rise and fall of Mike Sonko, a political timeline

EXPLAINERS
By Sara Okuoro and Amos Mabinda | June 25th 2021
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. [File, Standard]

Mbuvi Gideon Kioko Mike Sonko rose to national political prominence, at the age of 35, when he was elected Member of Parliament for Makadara in the September 20, 2010 by-election.

In 2013, Mike Sonko garnered 808,705 votes and beat ODM’s Margaret Wanjiru to become the first Senator of Nairobi.

In 2017, Sonko became the Governor of Nairobi County. Less than 6 months later, his deputy would resign and it was all downhill from there.

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko (left) and his deputy Polycarp Igathe during the swearing-in at Uhuru Park on 21/8/17. [File, Standard]

Timeline:

August 21, 2017:  Mike Mbuvi Sonko was elected governor, deputised by Polycarp Igathe

January 12, 2018: Deputy Governor Igathe resigns, cites frustrations

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was arrested on Friday December 6, 2019, shortly after the chief prosecutor ordered he be detained to face charges of economic crimes. He was arrested at Voi and airlifted to Wilson Airport and then transferred to EACC to face charges. [Courtesy: Reuters]

December 6, 2019: Sonko is arrested in Voi over the loss of Sh357 million in county funds

December 9, 2019: Governor pleads not guilty to graft charges

Sonko at a Milimani anti-corruption court where he pleaded not guilty to corruption charges on December 9, 2019. [George Njunge, Standard]

December 11, 2019: Sonko is granted bail at Sh15 million

July 24, 2019: High Court rules governors facing graft charges should step aside

December 20, 2019: Court of Appeal upholds order barring Sonko from office

January 6, 2020: Sonko nominates Anne Kananu as deputy governor, Director of Public Prosecutions terms move illegal

February 25, 2020: Sonko signs away control of key county functions

Mike Sonko at a Milimani anti-corruption court during a mention of a case where he is accused of economic crimes at Nairobi County. [George Njunge, Standard]

March 18, 2020: Maj Gen Mohammed Badi is appointed director-general of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS)

March 18, 2020: Sonko officially hands over key Nairobi county functions to the national government

Sonko in headgear and face mask during a fumigating exercise of the open spaces in Nairobi CBD on March 29, 2020. [David Gichuru, Standard]

April 6, 2020: Okiyah Omtatah files a petition against the creation of NMS

June 18, 2020: Court declares Deed of Transfer of Functions ‘vague and irregular’

July 25, 2020: Sonko threatens to pull out of agreement transferring county functions to NMS

September 11, 2020: Sonko says he regrets joining politics in a Facebook post

September 17, 2020: Court rules NMS was properly established

September 18, 2020: Sonko is charged afresh in a Sh14 million tender scam

Mike Sonko at a Milimani court on October 6, 2020 for the mention of his corruption case. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

November 8, 2020: Sonko moves to court challenging approval of Sh37.5 billion budget for Nairobi by MCAs

Sonko arrested by a contingent of police officers while holding a press conference with over 40 MCAs at a private residence along Riverside Drive in Nairobi on November 30, 2020. [Samson Wire, Standard]

December 3, 2020: Nairobi MCAs impeach Sonko on 11 grounds

December 4, 2020: Sonko loses bid to suspend his prosecution in Sh357 million graft case

December 5, 2020: Nairobi resident Peter Agoro withdraws petition against Anne Kananu’s nomination

December 8, 2020: Court bars Treasury from releasing Sh27.1 billion to NMS following a petition filed by Sonko

December 17, 2020: Senate upholds Sonko’s impeachment

December 18, 2020: Sonko hints at taking a break from politics

December 21, 2020: He files a petition against the Senate decision to uphold his impeachment

December 21, 2020: IEBC gazettes February 18, 2021, as the by-election date for Nairobi

January 4, 2021: Court suspends Nairobi by-election

January 7, 2021: Sonko files a petition against the appointment of Kananu as deputy governor

January 18, 2021: Court stops the swearing-in of Kananu as Nairobi governor

January 18, 2021: In an interview on vernacular radio stations, President Uhuru Kenyatta says he instigated Sonko’s impeachment; Sonko slams the president on Twitter after his confession

February 2, 2021: Sonko is charged with assault and robbery with violence (crimes date back to 2019)

February 9, 2021: Sonko is released on a Sh300,000 bond in an assault case

February 24, 2021: Sonko loses court bid to stop prosecution over the loss of Sh357 million in Nairobi

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at a Kahawa court where he was charged with terror related charges. He and his co acused denied the charges. March 4, 2021. [George Njunge, Standard]

March 19, 2021: Court temporarily stops Sonko’s prosecution on assault and terrorism charges

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko arrives at a Milimani court on Monday, June 7, 2021, to attend the hearing of his corruption case in anti-corruption court which was heard in camera as the witnesses are protected. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

June 11, 2021: Solicitor General says courts have not declared NMS unconstitutional

June 24, 2021: Court upholds Sonko’s impeachment and Kananu’s appointment as deputy governor

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