Give Sonko respect, protection, 2 lobby groups tell state

In Summary

• International Centre for Policy and Conflict executive director Ndung'u Wainaina said the existence of the NMS should not set precedence for interfering with the democratic rights of the governor and the people of Nairobi.

•“The preamble to the Constitution of Kenya recognizes the aspirations of all Kenyans for a government based on essential values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law and the exercise by the people of Kenya of our sovereign and inalienable right to determine the form of governance of our country and having participated fully in the making of this Constitution,” said Ndung'u.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko(centre) and Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi at State House on June 5, 2020
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko(centre) and Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi at State House on June 5, 2020
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

Two lobby group leaders have urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to protect Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko from what they have termed as total disrespect to him and the law.

The governor has been criticized by Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi and a section of MCAs for frustrating the functioning of the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS).

International Centre for Policy and Conflict executive director Ndung'u Wainaina said the existence of the NMS should not set precedence for interfering with the democratic rights of the governor and the people of Nairobi.

“The preamble to the Constitution of Kenya recognizes the aspirations of all Kenyans for a government based on essential values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law and the exercise by the people of Kenya of our sovereign and inalienable right to determine the form of governance of our country and having participated fully in the making of this Constitution,” said Ndung'u.

He warned against using the NMS to deny Nairobi residents the right of representation and further militarizing the city.

“Both the Presidency and the military must cease to interfere with the democratically elected government of Nairobi City County in pretext of creating stability and service. President and military are in full contravention of the Constitution and usurping the sovereign will of the people of Nairobi City County,” he noted.

He said the Nairobi City County Government is neither dissolved nor suspended and wants residents to retain their voting and representation right.

His sentiments echoed by Capital Youth Coccus Association secretary general Evans Okondo, who called on Uhuru to protect the governor, noting that he is a vital asset for the Jubilee Party.

He emphasized the importance of the ruling party protecting its governors and specifically leaders who played a crucial role in the 2017 general election victory.

“The ruling party must protect its governors whether they belong to Tangatanga or not. Sonko is someone who can wake up anytime and defend the President on anything if called upon,” Okondo said.

He recalled how Sonko fought hard to kick ODM out of leadership in Nairobi by sponsoring various candidates and ensuring that Jubilee bags majority seats in the Nairobi County Assembly.

“When we start fighting our own children, we are attracting our enemies to take leadership of this county,” he noted.