Sonko fights for survival, urges Senate to dismiss impeachment bid


Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at the Senate during his impeachment hearing on December 18, 2020.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at the Senate during his impeachment hearing on December 18, 2020. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • Sonko denied charges of using county funds for daughter’s U.S. trip
  • Governor had also been taken to task over millions paid to lawyers and garbage collection services.
  • MCAs had accused Sonko of presiding over imprudent use of public money

Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko staged a fierce defence to save his job, fighting off the impeachment motion and charges levelled against him.

On Thursday, Sonko claimed that the county assembly was on a character assassination overdrive and attempts to remove him from office were politically choreographed.

The governor was at pains to fend off allegations that his daughter flew first class to New York to attend a First Ladies conference under the guise of being a sub-county official.

Sonko admitted that indeed his daughter was part of the delegation.

The county assembly claimed that the governor’s daughter hired a chopper to overfly New York city at Ksh. 220,000 and threw a private party at a cost of Ksh. 260,000.

She is said to have boarded a chopper from New York City to Philadelphia at a cost of Ksh. 60,000 and visited various tourism sites at Ksh. 120,000.

The assembly further claimed that the governor’s daughter had a media team in tow that was paid Ksh. 120,000 and that while in Philadelphia, she spent another Ksh. 300,000 for ground transport

.

“An imprest of Ksh. 2.6million was paid to Joyce—that is not my wife,” he said in his defence.

Sonko further fended off corruption allegations involving Ksh. 297 million bursary funds.

The embattled governor denied diverting the money to pay for lawyers and garbage collection services as alleged but instead claimed the amount in question was in fact never used.

“The funds were never released by the Central Bank of Kenya,” he averred, insisting that he had instead bust a syndicate where MCAs had allegedly opened dubious educational facilities to obtain the bursary funds.

The governor nonetheless took issue with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) claiming that despite agreeing to donate some of his functions, it was robbing him all of his duties.

Sonko claimed that NMS was never part of the deal in the transfer deed to the national government.

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