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February 23, 2019

Why Sonko secretly tapes his phone calls, then leaks them

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko /FILE
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko /FILE

Governor Mike Sonko has appalled many and received criticism over his 'unethical' habit of recording his phone conservations.

He not only records the conversations – some with prominent people and considered confidential – but also leaks them to the public.He once recorded President Uhuru Kenyatta before releasing the tape to the public. His latest victims are Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu and Nairobi businessman Praful Kumar.

But the flamboyant city boss is unmoved. In fact, he says he is not stopping anytime soon. So why exactly does Sonko capture his conversations?. Well, he says it is his style of fighting corruption and impunity that have been entrenched at City Hall.

“I am not doing public relations exercise or seeking political mileage from my actions. War against corruption is like that against terrorism or cancer,” he says.

Sonko says this is the only way to expose the corrupt individuals who have reaching out to him with advances to get building approvals or be awarded tenders at the expense of the general public.

“As elected leader, I owe it to the electorate to protect public funds and resources. I have fought corruption and I will sit a poor Nairobians suffer because Sonko has been bribed,” he said.

Sonko claimed that City Hall used to lose between Sh20 million and Sh30 million a day but his actions of exposing the corrupt, suspending officers involved and impromptu office raid have helped.

But his critiques claims Sonko is a person full of public relations whose intention is to burst and embarrass his friends in public.

On Monday night, Sonko laid a trap for Nairobi businessman Praful Kamar in his (Sonko's) Kanamai home in Kilifi. Kamar was arrested for attempting to bribe the city boss with Sh1 million to allow him add two more floors to his hotel in Gigigri.

Speaking on Milele FM yesterday morning, Sonko said he had set cameras all over the room where he was to meet the businessman and alerted EACC detectives.

“He was to give me Sh50 million but because of the strict rules in banks, he brought Sh1 million and promised to be giving me Sh3 million per day until I receive all the money. He he has been following me since January and I had told him that I would arrest him if he comes with the money,” Sonko said.

Immediately after Kamar's arrest, Sonko leaked a recording of his conversation with the businessman where he asked him to follow the law if he wanted the building approved.

Last Wednesday, Sonko also leaked an audio of his conversation with Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. In the audio, Waititu was pleading with Sonko to release his wife Susan Wangare and 14 other who had been arrested by county askaris over illegal constructions in the CBD.

Sonko, in the recording, promises to release Wangare but fails to do so. Wangare was charged and released on bail.

But Sonko said he recorded the conversation to prove to the country that he does not spare even those considered as influential in his war against corruption.

“It [promise to release Wangari] was a trap and if you trap someone, you can say anything. I told him [Waititu] to talk to the president but I knew he would not because just a few day before he has criticised the President and I for fighting corruption,” he said.

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