Sakaja leads Senate Sonko rescue team
Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is this week expected to know his fate when he faces the Senate and the courts as it emerged that the governor had appointed Senator Johnson Sakaja to lobby for his survival.
Sources aware of the intrigues, revealed that Sakaja is leading a team of other senators who have been tasked to engage their colleagues in a bid to save Sonko from a possible ouster
The decision to have Sakaja lead the team comes after he met several senators at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) where he pleaded with them to save his one-time nemesis.
It is understood that Sakaja has also this week prepared a series of meetings with various senators to try and convince them to save the governor. “Sakaja has met several senators and he has managed to convince them to dismiss the impeachment motion.
Lobbying is at the highest level,” said the source on condition we do not reveal his identity,
Apart from Sakaja it is also understood that Sonko has also been using Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to try and plead his case.
The two have held several meetings with Sonko requesting Kalonzo to prepare a meeting with the President where they will iron out issues.
Our attempts to get Sakaja’s comment on the new developments were futile as our calls to yesterday him went unanswered.
The series of the meetings comes at a time when the governor is on Wednesday scheduled to appear in court for determination of a case, which he had filed to challenge the impeachment, just a day before his senate appearance.
In his petition to the court, the Governor argued that it was illegal for the assembly to proceed with the process when there was an order issued in February by Justice Byrum Ongaya stopping his removal and the same is still in place.
He challenged his impeachment by the county assembly and sought an order stopping the Senate from presiding over any session to deliberate the impeachment motion.
Justice Mathew Nduma will hear the suit after two Judges James Rika and Nzioka disqualified themselves from hearing Sonko’s application.
The governor will face the 67 senators after efforts to have a special committee to hear his ouster was shelved at the last minute on grounds that it would be compromised.
Senate speaker Ken Lusaka said he would gazette Thursday and Friday as the days when the impeachment motion will be heard after Senate Majority leader Samuel Poghisio abandoned a motion that had proposed a select committee to consider the ouster.
Sonko will face four main charges including gross violation of the Constitution or any other law (the County Governments Act, 2012, the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2015 and the Public Finance Management Act, 2012), abuse of office, gross misconduct and crimes under the national law.
This is after Nairobi ward representatives accused him of unlawfully using public funds to pay for his daughter’s travel to New York, USA, to attend the County First Lady’s Conference held during the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women 2018.
They also faulted him for violating Article 73 of the Constitution and Section 8 and 11 on the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012 on public trust and professionalism,
But despite the intense lobbying, the insiders close to the President have disclosed that the bitter rivalry between him and the governor is over his continuous refusal to sign the budged which has crippled operations of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services, an entity which the President is keen to use as part of his legacy.
Sonko has refused to append his signature on the county’s Sh37.5 billion annual budget that allocated Sh27.1 billion to Nairobi Metropolitan Services, leaving City Hall with Sh8.4 billion.
“The President is not happy at all. He established NMS to transform the city but someone through his selfish interests has denied it the budget.
As we speak most of our projects are at a standstill,” said a director with NMS.
Currently, staff has not been paid for two months. “The Governor is a law-abiding citizen and no matter what kind of intimidation, he will not engage in an exercise that is totally against the law,” Sonko’s spokesperson Ben Mulwa.