PROBING POLITICAL VIOLENCE

Sonko records statement with police over Azimio rally chaos

Sonko was ejected from the rally shortly after arrival when rowdy youth pelted his vehicle with stones.

In Summary

•On Monday, he arrived at the regional police headquarters at around 8.30 am and was questioned for over five hours, leaving the premises at around 2.30 pm.

• The Wiper NEC member said there are forces that do not want Sonko to vie for the Mombasa governor seat because of his popularity.

Wiper Mombasa county chair Sheikh Omar Twaha outside the Coast regional police headquarters in Mombasa on Monday.
STATEMENT Wiper Mombasa county chair Sheikh Omar Twaha outside the Coast regional police headquarters in Mombasa on Monday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

Wiper’s Mombasa governor hopeful Mike Sonko on Monday recorded a statement with police at the Coast regional police headquarters over a chaotic incident witnessed on Saturday’s Azimio rally.

Sonko was ejected from the rally shortly after arrival when rowdy youth pelted his vehicle with stones.

He was forced to speed out of the venue.

On Monday, he arrived at the regional police headquarters at around 8.30 am and was questioned for over five hours, leaving the premises at around 2.30 pm.

According to police and other sources, Sonko was being questioned in connection with the shots that were fired at the venue.

Police say the shots fired did not come from police officers.

Several people were injured at the scene including Sonko’s personal assistant Francis Wambua, who was injured in the neck, head and hands as he tried protecting Sonko from the rain of stones hurled at his vehicle.

On Monday, Wiper Mombasa county chair Sheikh Omar Twaha said from the onset, the ODM counterparts did not want Sonko to attend the Azimio rally at Mkomani.

“At first, they lied to us that the rally would be at Tononoka, then they changed to Bilima ground. But with our intelligence, we knew it would be at Mkomani and that is why we went there,” said Sheikh Twaha outside the regional police headquarters after Sonko had recorded the statement.

The Wiper NEC member said there are forces that do not want Sonko to vie for the Mombasa governor seat because of his popularity.

“They started by sponsoring a case which failed at the Eldoret law court. Then they came with the ‘mbara’ narrative saying Sonko is not a native. That failed too. Now they want him arrested for being pelted with stones,” said Sheikh Twaha.

He reiterated Wiper’s accusations that the chaos at the Azimio rally were planned by Sonko’s opponents.

“Our supporters were being blocked from accessing the venue. We had to devise ways. We had our supporters carry Raila Odinga and Abdulswamad Nassir placards so they would think they are their supporters to gain entry,” said Sheikh Twaha.

However, on Sunday, ODM Mombasa county chair Mohammed “Dee” Khamis denied that the chaos was planned.

Dee said Mombasa residents have rejected Sonko and that is why they, not the leaders, ejected him from the rally.

Some of Mike Sonko's entourage leave the Coast regional police headquarters in Mombasa on Monday.
CONVOY Some of Mike Sonko's entourage leave the Coast regional police headquarters in Mombasa on Monday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

“They should stop looking for issues where there are no issues,” said Dee.

Sheikh Twaha called on police to increase Sonko’s security saying his life could be in danger.

On Friday, Kaya Elders assistant secretary Hamisi Juma Mwaviko called on the government to increase Sonko’s security saying many of his opponents are trying to harm him physically and politically.

“Sonko has a right to vie for any position in Kenya. Those saying Sonko is an outsider is daydreaming. We ask the state to ensure Sonko stays safe as he campaigns in Mombasa,” said Mwaviko at Utange in the Kisauni constituency.

On Monday, Sonko was asked by police to be ready to record further statements whenever needed, to which he agreed, according to sources.

“He wants to show that he is a law-abiding, peace-loving citizen. That is why he will be in Mombasa throughout from now so as to also concentrate on his campaigns,” said another source.

Sheikh Twaha also reiterated that Wiper is no longer part of Azimio and that they are in the process of leaving the outfit.

“We have been shown enough times that we are unwelcome in Azimio. We have already unveiled our running mate because we are going for the presidency as Wiper,” said Sheikh Twaha.

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