Sonko says he’s ready to be jailed for rejecting deal

Monday, May 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. Photo/PD/FILE

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has said he is ready to be killed or jailed for rejecting the transfer of some functions to the national government, a move that could pose a major headache for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The People Daily has learnt that the governor is planning a series of provocative activities this week that could put him in direct confrontation with the government.

One of the activities, according to sources close to the governor, will be distribution of food in city estates, with the anticipation that the move will be disrupted by national government.

 “The action of police dispersing families receiving food from the governor is certain to annoy people,” said the source who requested anonymity.

The governor who appears to have shifted to Deputy President William Ruto’s camp has openly defied President Uhuru who witnessed the signing of the deal that saw the creation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) to take over key functions from the county.

Sonko has not only blocked efforts to give the authority cash by refusal to sign the budget, but has threatened to move to court to overturn the transfer saying he signed it under duress.

The move has been emboldened by the stance of the Senate, which has insisted that the Sh15.6 million Nairobi budget be put under his watch under the County Revenue Fund.

Axe deed

It is a catch-22 for Uhuru because although the transfer deed was meant to transfer execution of critical responsibilities to the authority, the governor retains strong control of county finances.

Sonko has accused people close to the President of embarrassing him.

“Nothing has changed; I will be moving to court seeking to terminate the transfer deed. Preparation and consultations among our legal team are going on.

However, the official communication will be done by the governor himself anytime this week,” said Ben Mulwa, the Governor’s spokesman, on Thursday.

He added that Sonko’s efforts to distribute food and masks as well as install sanitiser booths have been frustrated by national government officers.

Last week, Sonko had indicated that he will move to court to axe the deed just like any other ordinary contract.

Mulwa also cited the manner in which the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) took over staff from the county as well as the actions of Public Service Commission (PSC) in seconding of City Hall staff to the newly created NMS office.

In a brief letter to the National Treasury on Thursday, Sonko made it clear that his administration will not be providing any more documents.

Treasury had written to Sonko’s administration asking for documents on the key functions including Health Services, Transport, Planning and Development, and Public Works.

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