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Sonko sues Radio Africa, gives court HIV test results

In Summary

• Governor Sonko says  he has never contracted the HIV virus and has attached medical documents from both Nairobi Hospital and Nairobi women’s hospital.

• He says Radio Africa has knowingly breached the freedom of press and thereby exposed him to embarrassment and public ridicule. 

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko with transport cabinet secretary James Macharia and Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) director general Peter Mundinia at crown plaza hotel on June 12, 2019.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko with transport cabinet secretary James Macharia and Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) director general Peter Mundinia at crown plaza hotel on June 12, 2019.
Image: GPS

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has made good his threat and sued Radio Africa and Star journalist over an article published in the Star newspaper.

This follows a publication of an article on June 7 titled 'How HIV report helped Sonko out of Kamiti maximum prison'.

The article was based on a court ruling that revised his prison sentence letting him out three months before the end of the sentence.

Sonko has told the court that he has never contracted the HIV virus and has attached medical documents from both Nairobi Hospital and Nairobi women’s hospital.

 

Through lawyer Cecil Miller, Sonko says his HIV status is confirmed by the two tests carried out by the said institutions in 2011 and 2019 respectively. 

 

He says Radio Africa has knowingly breached the freedom of the press and thereby exposed him to embarrassment and public ridicule. 

He claims that the contents of the publication were understood to mean that “I am an immoral person and is infected with the HIV Virus and is, therefore, suffering from AIDS"... He also says the report meant that "I am an escaped convicted criminal and should it be trusted by any right-thinking members of the public and particularly my constituents who have elected me as the Governor".

Sonko says Radio Africa chose to recklessly and maliciously publish false statements without caring to verify the truth and he has suffered damages.

According to the court documents, Radio Africa published the said article as a vehicle for character assassination without any regard to his rights.

"By reason of Radio Africa's actions, I have suffered enormous loss and my reputation, integrity, dignity amongst right-thinking members of society, my colleagues and superiors have severely diminished"

He is seeking general damages for libel and slander and any other relief court may deem fit to grant.

Sonko also says Radio Africa and the said journalist are busybodies motivated by cheap publicity and propaganda, personal prejudice and bias, personal vendetta and unbridled greed to sell themselves which cannot sustain their attempts to practise competitive journalism and become decently recognizable without sensationalism, gutter journalism and habitual vulgarism of the worst kind.