NOT FRIENDS AGAIN?

Sonko, Sakaja in bitter exchange over friendship woes

In Summary

• Sonko termed his lack of a deputy as a non-issue that does warrant Senate to summon him.

• Sonko who appeared agitated said Sakaja only brought the issues to the committee because he wanted to be a governor.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during Labour Day celebrations on May 1, 2018.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during Labour Day celebrations on May 1, 2018.
Image: JACK OWUOR

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Wednesday locked horns with Senator Johnson Sakaja over friendship woes.

Sonko hit back at Sakaja asking how he could muddy their friendship for a non-issue in regards to the deputy governor post.

"Even the other day he sent me a picture that we took some two years ago. So I am shocked that Senator Sakaja is bringing this matter to this committee," Sonko said.

The governor spoke on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate's Devolution Committee to explain why he has failed to appoint a deputy, more than 15 months after Polycarp Igathe resigned.

He said the deputy governor position was a non-issue that did not need the senator to bring before the committee.

"There was no need of calling senators to come and deal with this non-issue...I have shown goodwill by nominating Miguna.. this is not a serious issue," he said.

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko when he appeared before the Senate Devolution committee on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko when he appeared before the Senate Devolution committee on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
Image: JACK OWUOR

But the chair Laikipia Senator John Kinyua interjected explaining to Sonko that the issue before the Senate committee was serious.

"Assume something happens to you which God forbids, what will you do when you don't have a deputy?" he posed.

"...it is too serious and by your words, you said you tried to bring someone on board...all of a sudden you are saying it's a non-issue?" Kinyua posed.

After some minutes, Sakaja asked the chair to give him time to respond to Sonko on the issue of friendship.

"It is true that Sonko is my friend and that I sent him the pictures that we took during the campaigns two years ago. Chair the pictures were just a TBT," he said.

Sakaja said whatever he raised on the floor in regards to the deputy position was not in relation to their friendship.

Some of these are constitutional rules and when a matter is brought to my attention by my constituents, we can't afford to bring our friendship into it. This is not an adversarial proceeding. We're protecting the interest of Nairobians.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja

But Sonko who appeared agitated said Sakaja only brought the issues to the committee because he wanted to be a governor.

"It is true that I wanted to be the governor it is true that he(Sakaja) also want to be the governor but he is playing his cards wrong..." Sonko said.

But Sakaja asked the chair to compel Sonko to withdraw his statement that he wanted to be the governor.

"...that statement needs to be withdrawn. I have never declared anywhere that I want to be the governor of Nairobi. In any case, I am a Kenyan and if I want to vie I am free to do so," he said.

"In any public record, I have never made that declaration... I am looking at issues objectively as the senator of Nairobi and I will continue to exercise my mandate."

In a quick rejoinder, Sonko asked Sakaja to stop allegations and investigate the issue before raising other issues.

"Get your facts right before you raise your allegations.. when I was the senator of Nairobi when similar matters were raised I would investigate and come with facts..and made sure that I had sufficient evidence," he said.

As he continued the exchange of words, the chair tried to stop him but he could not stop.

"...allow me to talk.. I can see the senator is whispering something to you..I am entitled to speak.." he said.

"My chair you are giving you colleague a lot of time to spoil my name..we have our own department of DCI and I have not said that I am investigating an officer...."

Earlier, Sonko termed his lack of a deputy as a none issue that does warrant Senate to summon him.