SOLDIERING ON

Sonko: My friends fixed me but looking back, I have no regrets

Former governor declined to reveal whether or not he will go back to politics.

In Summary

• Sonko alleged that the ‘circle of friends’ now turned foes, duped him to not sign the first budget that was to be given to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

• On his impeachment, Sonko firmly believes he was illegally impeached and that he is sure both the county assembly and senate lacked quorum during that time.

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko during an interview in his private office on July 28, 2020.
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko during an interview in his private office on July 28, 2020.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Nearly a year after his exit from power, former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko now blames his misfortune on his ‘ circle of friends’  who he claims were out to fix him.

Speaking in an interview with KTN on Tuesday, Sonko claimed that advice from his friends, which he didn’t mention early last year, led to the beginning of his misfortune and the fallout with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Sonko alleged that the ‘circle of friends’ now turned foes, duped him to not sign the first budget that was to be given to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

“The same friends advised me not to sign the budget and crept back to State House and told Uhuru that I refused to append the signature. What happened next is that the President gave the green light for my impeachment and he is even on record saying it,” he added

Still bitter

On his impeachment, Sonko firmly believes he was illegally impeached and that he is sure both the county assembly and senate lacked quorum during that time.

On December 3, 2020, he was impeached by 88 Nairobi MCAs of the County Assembly which later proceeded to the Senate on December 17, 2020, where they upheld the resolution to remove him from office.

“ Anyone who has been treated unfairly has bitterness but mine didn’t start after my impeachment and my expose series will demonstrate that,” Sonko said.

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at during the hearing of his impeachment case the the senate on December 17, 2020.
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at during the hearing of his impeachment case the the senate on December 17, 2020.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

However, he maintained that he cannot go into hiding because of the impeachment, arguing that it is normal and life has to go on.

On his relationship with President Kenyatta, Sonko said they fell out due to political positions but still respects him as the Head of State.

“We are not as close as how we used to be. You know what transpired and some of the issues are still before the court but I respect him as the President,” he said.

"Badi become personal"

On his complicated relationship with Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director-General Mohammed Badi, Sonko said he became too personal with him hence the drift despite him having goodwill to work together.

He claimed that after NMS was formed, Badi started to 'unleash power everywhere' and he was completely sidelined.

“Badi came in and took the official governor’s vehicles and house and what followed was demolitions all over Nairobi,” Sonko added.

President Uhuru Kenya, ex-Narobi Governor Mike Sonko and Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi at KICC on August 12, 2020.
President Uhuru Kenya, ex-Narobi Governor Mike Sonko and Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi at KICC on August 12, 2020.
Image: PSCU

 When asked whether or not he hesitated from signing the deed of transfer agreement, Sonko said he wasn’t given ample time to go through it but at the same time, he said one cannot argue with the Head of State.

In his opinion on the achievements NMS has done in Nairobi for the past 19 months, the former governor maintained during his tenure he also did commendable work that can also be termed as achievements.

He highlighted the Pumwani milk bank, adding fire stations and free milk to schools as his notable achievements.

City cartels

Sonko said in his first year in office, he attempted to get rid of cartels by introducing a cashless system at City Hall.

“I sealed all loopholes and ensured all money is swept to County revenue Fund every day and cartels were not pleased,” he added.

Touching on pending bills, Sonko said less than five months into office in 2018, he inherited more than Sh60 billion from his predecessor.

 On NMS achievements, well … I’ll give complements to President Uhuru Kenyatta and not Director-General Mohammed Badi because when I signed the deed of transfer, I did it out of respect.
Foremer Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko

He took credit as the first governor who formed a pending bills committee to verify the billions claimed to be City Hall’s debt.

“People approached me and tried to persuade me to pay some money but I refused and formed the committee instead,” Sonko added.

On his tendency to record people, Sonko emphasized he only records cartels and not his friends and by doing so, he hasn’t gone against any law, as it serves as evidence.

“ Article 35 of the Constitution talks about access to information. If I would be just shouting verbally with now evidence no one would believe what goes on in the judicial system," he added.

Judiciary expose

Touching on his recent expose of the judiciary, he said the aim is to fix the nation.

“Kenya is bigger than any individual. I’m just fighting for the millions of Kenyans and they have to know what is happening in the corridors of justice,” Sonko explained.

He also rubbished claims that he only released the expose when certain issues don’t go in his favour.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka watch as Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Governor Mike Sonko sign agreement transferring key Nairobi county functions to the state on February 26, 2020.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka watch as Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Governor Mike Sonko sign agreement transferring key Nairobi county functions to the state on February 26, 2020.
Image: PSCU

“A person of my calibre can still flex muscles and najiweza. What about the hundreds of Wanjikus that have been denied justice  by the same system?’ Sonko posed.

Despite his tribulations, Sonko has said he has no regrets in the decisions he made before and after being Nairobi county boss.

He described his journey into politics as a blessing noting that he came from a very humble background.

“ I don’t have any regrets when I look back. I came from a very humble background where none of my parents was in politics. I thank God for the journey,” Sonko added.

The former Makadara MP declined to reveal whether or not he will go back to politics, noting he has bigger problems to deal with at the moment.

“For now I will not mention my political ambitions. Let me deal with hii kisirani yote then everything else will follow. A time will come for politics. The important factor at this juncture is to rescue the millions of Kenyans who have been denied justice," he said.

"Kenya’s Judiciary is about who is the highest bidder and that we must fix it.”

Edited by D Tarus