Let Nairobians go to the ballot - Sonko

Sonko claims he withdrew nomination of Kananu as his DG nominee and will withdraw case that stopped next month's by-election

In Summary

•Speaker Benson Mutura has accused Sonko of forgery and calls DCI to investigate the purported withdrawal letter 

•Sonko to withdraw a case he filed stopping Nairobi’s next month by election to allow those seeking the position to battle it out.

Nairobi County Deputy Governor nominee Anne Kananu and former Governor Mike Sonko during a past event in 2019.
Nairobi County Deputy Governor nominee Anne Kananu and former Governor Mike Sonko during a past event in 2019.
Image: FILE

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has put up a spirited fight to reclaim his lost position as the county boss.

Having more than five cases active in court since his ouster on December 17, 2020, Sonko has now changed the tune and wants Nairobi residents to head to the ballot.

Speaking on Saturday in Makueni, he announced that he will be taking a 10 year break from politics and at the same time withdraw a case he filed stopping Nairobi’s next month by-election to allow those seeking the position to battle it out.

“Because Nairobi is big and it needs a leader, I’m ready to withdraw the case for people to elect their own chosen governor,” he said.

In what appears to be a strategic move to interfere with the scheduled vetting process of Deputy Governor nominee Anne Kananu this week, Sonko claims he will be moving to court this week to withdraw a case which saw the court suspend the slated February 18, 2020, gubernatorial Nairobi by-election.

The special Gazette Notice No. 10914 dated December 21 2020 issued by the IEBC be and is hereby suspended until the hearing and determination of the amended notice of motion,” reads the orders by Justice Antony Mrima. 

The case will be mentioned on Thursday for hearing.

Withdrawal of nominee

Sonko maintained that he withdrew Kananu’s name for deputy governor nominee and therefore 'blocking ' the assembly from proceeding with the process.

The County Assembly is set this Friday to have Kananu vetted by the Appointments Committee.

This was part of his affidavit in support of the cross petition and application filed  in an attempt to stop the withdrawal of orders suspending Kananu’s vetting.

However, the court last week allowed the withdrawal by a Nairobi voter Peter Agoro, who had blocked Kananu’s vetting by the assembly on February 17 last year through a court order.

“It is a must for Nairobi residents to get the governor they want. Not to bring in someone who was elected which is not lawful. They need to go for a by election and elect the person whom they love through the ballot,” he added.

On January 9, 2020, Sonko nominated Kananu to deputise him in a letter addressed to former assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi.

On Saturday , the former governor claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta last year opposed his decision to nominate Kananu as his deputy.

“I respect women and I chose one to be my deputy. But the first person who told me to leave nomination matters was the President himself,” Sonko said.

"Because I respected the President, I told him let me think about it before I nominate someone else to replace her,” he added.

Forgery claims

County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura in a sworn affidavit on January 7, 2021,  seen by the Star, claimed that the" withdrawal" letter was forged by usage of an alleged stamp and his office never received such.

He said he learnt of the purported withdrawal letter while going through Sonko’s affidavit on January 6, 2021, in support of the cross petition and application that was rejected by the court.

“I have noted with great shock and disbelief that there is an annexure number 'SK 03' Mike Mbuvi Sonko dated the 6th day of January, 2021, and an alleged stamp from my office of even date purporting that the letter was indeed received by the office of the Speaker on the said date."

Mutura also noted that the purported withdrawal letter does not have any signature indicative of the person who has received the same as is the procedure.

He further explains that going through the register in the Office of the Speaker as from November 3, 2020, up to the date when he signed the affidavit, there is no indication whatsoever that the said letter was ever received by the Office of the Speaker of the Nairobi City County Assembly.

“This is indeed a very serious, shameful and desperate action by the former governor as it is not only a forgery, but a fraudulent attempt to deceive the court by the continued use of the stationery of the office which he was constitutionally removed from and thus subverting and abusing the entire process,” Mutura added.

Consequently, Mutura has also written a complaint letter to the Directorate of Criminal investigations asking them to expeditiously investigate this matter and call for the original letter and indeed avail its findings at the earliest, as the same would be instrumental in the direction the matter would take in court and in any subsequent proceedings.