Undeterred Sonko folds up his sleeves to reclaim lost seat in coming city poll
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Ousted Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has given the clearest indication that he will be seeking to defend his seat, in the upcoming Nairobi by-election barely a month after he was impeached.
Sonko, who is yet to declare on which party he will run after closure of the independent candidates’ deadline, has told his challengers to prepare for a bruising battle.
“Yes, I am down not out. I am ready to defend my seat in coming by-election,” Sonko told the People Daily when contacted on Wednesday. “At the opportune time, I will disclose the political party I will for the by-elections.”
Last month, senators voted to uphold the impeachment of Sonko for alleged gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office, gross misconduct and crimes under national law.
Undeterred, the former governor is folding up his sleeves to battle out with 18 other candidates including 13 independent aspirants and five hopefuls from the Jubilee party.
They are former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, Raymond Ndung’u, Njau Luingi, Evans Machoka, David Lingala, Jimal Ibrahim and former National Assembly Speaker Noah Winja.
Others are Alloys Otieno, Mathenge Mukundi, Yassin Munyanya, Timothy Olong’o, Phyllis Wangari and Augustine Kavindu.
The five aspirants from Jubilee party are former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru, Anne Kagure, Betty Adhiambo, Alex Kipchirchir and Omar Kongo.
Sonko has already sought clearance to contest from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Higher Education Loans Board (Helb), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) among others.
“This certificate is issued on the basis of information available to the board as the date shown above,” the Helb letter dated December 24 reads in part.
“The board reserves the right to withdraw the certificate if new evidence materially alters the compliance status of the recipient,” it adds.
It however remains to be seen whether he will be cleared to contest alongside Waititu who has expressed interests in the seat.
Last week, IEBC pronounced itself that leaders impeached on abuse of office charges are not eligible to run for elective posts.
What the law says
Speaking during the launch of the verification of BBI signatures at the Bomas of Kenya, IEBC boss Wafula Chebukati said that no impeached leader will run for any elective office reiterating that the law will be followed in clearing candidates for by-elections.
“If you look at chapter six, article 180 read together with article 193, it is clear that a person or individual or a person who has been impeached, cannot run for an electoral position, that is very clear in the law,” Chebukati said.
“IEBC is a creature of the law, it is not directed by anybody outside the law, when it comes to clearing candidates the returning officers, will simply enforce the law,” he added.