Governor Sonko’s arrest must not halt city service delivery
The dramatic arrest of Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko last Friday in Voi over claims of involvement in graft brings into sharp focus the anti-corruption fight.
Granted, there have been scores of arrests and arraignment of high-profile individuals accused of financial impropriety and abuse of office.
But the arrest of Sonko, who has styled himself as a crusader of public good and protector of the ordinary citizen, is both ironical and refreshing, especially in the fight against vice.
The drama of the arrest aside, Sonko’s attempt to secure his freedom through the court, though his constitutional right, speaks volumes of how high-profile suspects try to use the law to subvert justice.
This is a privilege denied the ordinary citizen—the victim of the theft of public resources by those they entrusted with power to serve them.
The arrest of high-profile corruption suspects usually follows a similar script; legal rigmarole executed by equally high-profile legal minds to circumvent the process and avoid being put in custody.
While it has worked for some, it threatens public confidence in the judicial system that is supposed to be blind to status of those before the courts.
But more critically, the arrest of Sonko and others must now pave way for a thorough audit at City Hall to reset the systems to enhance service delivery to residents.
This must include bringing to account all those to blame for sorry state of affairs to the once City in the Sun that now runs at the whims of individuals.
The county must be made to function with all the structures in place, including having a deputy governor in place to address a likely leadership lacuna.
That Nairobians find themselves faced with leadership uncertainty in the event the governor is for barred from office is an indictment on the crafters of the Constitution that fails to anticipate the unusual circumstance the county was cast into.
Hopefully, the Building Bridges Initiative(BBI) has addressed the gap to ensure that counties run as public institutions not personal fiefdoms.
For the ongoing anti-graft to have impact, the State agencies spearheading it and the Judiciary need to expedite the process to assuage the public scepticism— and even its thirst appetite for real convictions.