BONAFIDE BOSS

Sonko takes fight for Nairobi billions to Uhuru doorstep

County boss reveals he will not let President Kenyatta rest if rights abuses by Jubilee administration continue

In Summary

•Sonko has of late been unleashing fiery salvos towards the President, case in point the recent lash following the demolitions in Kibra to pave way for railway construction works.

•In a blow to NMS operations, Sonko rejected the county government’s budget of Sh37.4 billion as passed by MCAs.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
Image: FILE

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has taken his fights for Nairobi’s billions to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s doorstep.

Unlike in the past when he attacked State House mandarins for frustrating him, the governor is now punching right in the President’s face.

The bone of contention between the two rests on the transfer of the county functions to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

 

Sonko has of late been unleashing fiery salvos towards the President, case in point the recent lash following the demolitions in Kibra to pave way for railway construction works.

In a blow to NMS operations, Sonko rejected the county government’s budget of Sh37.4 billion as passed by MCAs.

In a memorandum to the assembly speaker Benson Mutura, Sonko said cartels cheekily introduced curious clauses to the budget in the last minute.

Nothing could come closer to the NMS being the bone of contention than the remarks that the some “senior government officials went ahead to arrogate unto themselves the responsibility of the County Executive.”

“With unprecedented impunity, they purported to extinguish four departments that fall under the transferred functions through budget starvation,” he said.

“This is contrary to Article 187 (2) (b) of the Constitution, which states that constitutional responsibility for the performance of the function or exercise of the power shall remain with the government to which it is assigned by the Fourth Schedule,” he said.

He challenged the President accusing him of ‘mistreating Kenyans’ unlike in the past when ‘the president defended those in trouble’.

 

Sonko castigated the government for failing to resettle persons being evicted from government land in Ruai, Kariobangi, and other areas.

“Where is the heart you (Uhuru) had before you were President? You are surrounded by persons out to hurt Kenyans.”

“We want a government that respects Kenyans. We are tired of your government,” the governor said. “We respect you, but we don’t fear you. This matter must be stopped.”

Sonko, however, denies that his attacks have nothing to do with the takeover of his functions by the NMS boss Mohammed Badi.

The fresh fights negate the recent truce brokered by President Kenyatta with a call to the leaders to stop competing over functions.

“Those trying to bring issues should know that our work is not to answer one another but to serve Kenyans…Sonko, stop the politics. The General has no intention to take away the governor seat,” the President said when he brought the two together, an effort which now appears lost.

Taking cue from his actions, it appears Sonko is headed to the Hustler camp and has reportedly lined up activities to bolster Ruto’s campaigns.

The Nairobi governor has been a fierce defender of the President and was among the privileged Kenyans with unfettered access to State House.

When he was Senator, Sonko made news after he called the president directly – on loud speaker, to stop demolition of property erected on land claimed by Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute.

Sometime in May 2018, he caused a stir after challenging Environment CS Keriako Tobiko for breach of protocol in a tree planting event that President Kenyatta attended.

That would change after Sonko’s dramatic arrest and subsequent prosecution on charges of loss of over Sh350 million in a contentious garbage tender.

President Kenyatta castigated Senators who were in the team of 17 lawyers who represented the governor in court citing concerns of conflict of interest.

Before long, the President initiated a deed of transfer which saw Sonko sign off Nairobi county functions to State House under NMS.

Sonko later claimed he was duped into signing the transfer, even claiming he was served alcohol which distorted his judgement.