Police disperse Sonko’s meeting with Ward Reps
Besieged Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was yesterday briefly detained after police stormed his meeting with Members of County Assembly (MCAs) opposed to his planned impeachment.
Sonko and the Ward Reps were briefing the media at Riverside on the impending impeachment facing him before police got wind of the meeting.
Officers stormed the venue and fired teargas to disperse the meeting. The officers accused the leaders of flouting corona guidelines.
According to insiders, the meeting brought together Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Jubilee Ward Reps. It was called to explore all options to block the impeachment.
In a tweet, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja condemned the fracas, saying it is wrong to use the police for politics.
“Arresting Sonko for meeting MCAs in the week of his impending impeachment is nothing short of using police for politics.
Just as it happened in the Senate, this must be condemned whether you support the governor or not.
Let ud not claw back on democracy using Covid-19 as an exuse,” tweeted Sakaja.
During their address, the MCAs appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the ODM leader Raila Odinga to intervene in the ongoing wrangles between Sonko and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).
“We are appealing to the President and Raila to lead this Assembly into a dialogue for us to have the much-needed peace in Nairobi,” the Ward Reps said.
The over 40 MCAs said the city risks being destabilised if the matter is not handled with the urgency it deserves.
The Ward Reps at the same time disowned 86 signatures, claimed to have been collected to impeach Sonko.
“We want to make it clear that the signatures they purport to have were not collected from us neither were they signed by us.
They collected the signatures from a Kamukunji we held before and the few signatures they collected through coercion and duress could only amount to 17,” said Nominated MCA Sylvia Museiya.
With the voting for the impeachment set for Thursday, the ward reps said they have over 90 MCAs who will vote against it favouring Sonko.
Waithaka MCA Anthony Karanja, also urged those who are pushing for the impeachment to either shape up or ship out saying the county was gearing for serious businesses of supporting the Building Bridges Initiative.
Sonko has been meeting various leaders to block the impending impeachment.
However, Embakasi Ward MCA Michael Ogada has been optimistic that Sonko’s fate is sealed as he has demonstrated incompetence by failing even to perform in the few dockets, which he did not sign away.
“ We will not wait any more. This time we are determined to ensure Sonko goes home,” he said.
According to Ogada, 86 out of the122 MCAs have appended their signatures in support of the ouster motion, easily surpassing the one-third (42 members) threshold required by law.
Last week, the county boss is said to have met Raila to save him.
The governor is accused of abuse of office, gross violation of the law, committing crimes under national and international laws, and lacking the physical and mental capability to run the county government.
He is further accused of crippling operations of NMS and the County Executive through failure to assent to Sh37 billion budget.
Other grounds on the impeachment motion is a violation of protocols in the procurement of goods and services, irregular procurement in projects including the Dandora Stadium, inability to constitute a working cabinet with almost all CECs working in acting capacity.
In a letter dated November 27 that was addressed to the Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly, Sonko cited an existing order barring his removal from office.
“By your purporting to process a fresh impeachment motion against Hon. Mike Sonko Mbuvi while these proceedings are pending, you have committed an act of intentional disrespect to these a judicial proceeding which constitutes contempt of court,” the letter from his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui reads in part.
The county assembly speaker, however, insists that the court order will not have any impact on the current process since the mover of the motion and the grounds listed are different.
Governor Sonko’s legal team remains adamant that new motion is inadmissible since it breached the directions of the court and amounted to subjudice.
not forgetting the prevailing political situation.
According to the County Governments Act, if a governor is impeached, the deputy automatically takes over.
This is what happened in Kiambu when Governor Ferdinand Waititu was kicked out and replaced by James Nyoro.
Interestingly, Sonko has been working without a deputy following the abrupt resignation of Polycarp Igathe in January 2018.