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September 25, 2017

I've not stepped down for Peter Kenneth in Nairobi governor race - Sonko

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko is congratulated by Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju after being cleared vie for governor nominations, April 21, 2017. /FILE
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko is congratulated by Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju after being cleared vie for governor nominations, April 21, 2017. /FILE

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko has urged his supporters to ignore the social media "propaganda" that he has stepped down for former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth.

Sonko, Kenneth and former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru are seeking the Jubilee ticket to run against ODM Governor Evans Kidero.

"What is on social media is pure propaganda from a few individuals. I cannot and will not step down for anyone," Sonko said on Wednesday.

The legislator has maintained that he will be on the ballot as leaders are chosen by people.

A section of Kenyans on Twitter gave their opinions through hash tag #SonkoStepsdownForPK. The hashtag seemed sponsored.

"I love Sonko but I don't trust him with Nairobi leadership. Let [Kidero] make Nairobi great again," Naitwa Kiky said.

Another user identified as Sam Ongeri said: "Mike Sonko thought he could corner Jubilee. They have shut down his mouth using Super Glue."

'Kisiiz Finest‏' claimed Jubilee has assured Kidero of victory and that Kenneth can only make it in Central Kenya.

Odoyo Mungah said: "It's not good for [President] Uhuru Kenyatta to think only Kikuyus should have Jubilee tickets."

But some members of the public said the news broke their hearts.

Yusuf Baraka‏ said he did not expect this but would select Kidero for the task of ending the atrocities the people have faced.

In one of his rallies in Nairobi, the Governor said tribe should not be an impediment to participation in the race.

But Sonko, who is seeking the Jubilee ticket alongside Kenneth and Wanjiru, claimed his rivals have been preaching tribalism.

"Kuna wabunge kumi wameshikana hapa Nairobi wanahubiri ukabila...kwanza kuna MCA mama hapa anaitwa Waithera."

(There are some 10 Nairobi MPs who are using the tribal card to campaign against me)

He said the MPs were trying to prevent him from vying for the governor post.

This was apparently in reference to Starehe's Maina Kamanda who is in the team fronting Kenneth for the city's top job.

Sonko was almost locked out of the Jubilee nominations in March.

This was before State House reportedly intervened for him to be given a police clearance certificate.

Jubilee dismissed the claims after reports emerged that Sonko was asked to get clearance from the examinations council.

Read: Sonko to sue over school certificates, Jubilee says no plot to lock him out

"Kwa sababu nataka kuwa governor, wanasema eti kabila yangu ni mbaya. Wanasema mimi sijasoma na sifai kuwa governor," Sonko said during campaigns for the Jubilee governor ticket in Nairobi on Wednesday.

(They are saying I come from the wrong tribe, not schooled and therefore should not be elected as governor)

Reminding voters that Nairobi is a cosmopolitan county, the Senator said leadership comes from God and should not be predestined by men.

"Wale wanataka kunipiga kutumia ukabila wajue kwamba uongozi unatoka kwa mwenyezi Mungu...Mungu akisema utakuwa kiongozi, hata mtu aseme nini utakuwa."

(Let them know that leadership comes from God. Once he says you will be a leader, no man can stop that)

On Wednesday, the Star revealed that Sonko refused a Cabinet post dangled for him to quit the Nairobi governor race in favour of Peter Kenneth.

The popular lawmaker says he’s going for the top job, aiming for the Jubilee Party ticket in primaries on Friday, April 21 where the two will face off.

Multiple sources close to the presidency told the Star that a Cabinet position has been offered and rejected several times.

If Jubilee wins on August 8, Sonko could have been CS for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region, a new post created for him.

He would oversee Kiambu, Kajiado, Murang’a and Machakos counties.

"We have given up on Sonko. We wanted him to back Kenneth and we even offered him many other options, but he has rejected all of them," a source said.

More on this: Sonko rejects Cabinet post

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