Former Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko is in quite a bind over comments he made. He alleged that he, together with what he called the ‘deep state,’ among them the permanent secretary for internal security, Karanja Kibicho organized fracas during the 2017 general elections. Mind you, the president of the Law Society of Kenya, LSK; Nelson Havi, recently tweeted and mentioned the ‘deep state.’ As a leader, Mike Sonko should have known better than to implicate himself publicly. The incident he allegedly organized with Kibicho and the deep state allegedly entailed them buying vehicles, torching them, and accusing the Orange Democratic Movement, ODM, leaders of the deed. There were also assault charges against him after events in Buruburu, a suburb of Nairobi, where Sonko is accused of assault.
Mike Sonko is, in my view, suffering the consequences of his fallout with the president, his excellency, Uhuru Kenyatta. The debacle started when the president decided that Sonko was not good enough to run Nairobi county and formed the Nairobi Metropolitan Services or NMS. The president then appointed a former army general, Major General Mohammed Abdalla Badi, to head the NMS. General Badi has since then been appointed to sit at cabinet meetings and was sworn in as a cabinet member. Legally speaking, the president has no legal defense to abdicate a governor’s duties in the name of ensuring development.
The formation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services should have been one in 47 such formations where each county should have been given its own metropolitan services. Such institutions should also have been put under the oversight of the governors of their respective counties. When NMS came, Sonko’s downfall ensued, and he was quickly impeached, and a deputy governor for Nairobi approved and sworn-in, in five hours, as a way to push him to the brink. The deputy governor who will automatically become governor is a lady named Anne Mwenda Kananu, who, despite having been appointed by Sonko earlier, had been rejected for the post.
The story of Anne Kananu was, in my view, the cause of the fallout between the president and Mike Sonko. When Sonko initially appointed Kananu after staying without a deputy governor for a few years, the president declined the appointment, alleging that intelligence services had informed him that Kananu was not fit for the post. Sonko is a man of many ‘talents.’ Still, he faltered and made a terrible mistake when he recorded his conversation with the president’s sister, Christine Wambui Kenyatta, also known as Kristina Pratt.
The Kenyatta family is off-limits for anyone who has a problem with the president, and any malice concerning them is taken as a personal attack, and rightfully so. Sonko is notorious for recording phone calls, and I think we can all remember when he recorded his phone calls with the now removed former Kiambu Governor, Ferdinand Waititu. He, however, crossed a line, in my view, by recording the president’s sister’s phone call. The act, it seems, is what brought his current misfortunes. Sonko is also overly candid, and in one instance, he even went as far as to say that he used to smoke marijuana with former governor Waititu in a loo. Such comments, when made public, not only taint reputations but also cast doubt on one’s character.
Sonko is a man at arms with the leadership of this country, and since his fallout with the alleged ‘kingpin,’ he is likely to see a lot of days in court. Sonko has also been in a war of words with the PS for internal security, Karanja Kibicho. The two seem to be fighting due to numerous accusations allayed against one another. Sonko was summoned to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, DCI, headquarters after Kibicho recorded a statement denying Sonko’s claims. Mr. Kibicho also vowed to move to court to sue former governor Sonko for tainting his name. Will Sonko come out of this current debacle? That remains to be seen, but in a country where governors are accused of murder and still walk free, it wouldn’t be surprising if he did. However, with current political temperatures at an all-time high as we near the 2022 general elections and with raging debate on the Building Bridges Initiative, BBI, Sonko may be on the precipice of insurmountable legal liability.