Former Nairobi governor, Mike Sonko has made some damning allegations on corruption in the judiciary. Sonko’s claims implicate a few judges and some of his former associates and lawyers. The chief targets of these allegations are High Court judge Said Chitembwe, his brother and what Sonko calls his “proxy” Amana Said Jirani, and Sonko’s former deputy governor turned successor, Anne Kananu. Sonko alleges, with video clips as evidence, that judge Chitembwe through his brother collects bribes to sway his ruling and administration of cases in the High Court. In one particular video, Amana Said, the judge’s brother calls him to confirm that if he took a KES 100 million bribe on his (Chitembwe’s) behalf, then the money would get to him and he would “relinquish his interest” on the matter.
Sonko’s Denied Petition Against Kananu’s Swearing-In
The matter in discussion, it seems, is Sonko’s petition against the swearing-in of Ann Kananu as Nairobi’s governor after his dramatic impeachment. Judge Chitembwe ruled on the matter and dismissed Sonko’s petition. The particular clips dispersed by Mike Sonko on social media have instigated a push to remove the judge as a sitting judge by the Judicial Service Commission, JSC.
In a statement, Chief Justice Martha Koome, who chairs the JSC, said that the commission would look into the matter and gave the judge 14 days to respond to the allegations. If found culpable, then the judge would see a tribunal formed by the president to probe the matter and initiate his removal from office if indeed he is found to have been corrupt.
A Conspiracy Against Mike Sonko
As if that was not enough, Sonko went on to allege that his former lawyer Cecil Miller has been in cahoots with Anne Kananu and judge Chitembwe, in a move to remove him from office and deny his petition against the swearing-in of Kananu. Anne Kananu is now the seating governor of Nairobi after being sworn-in on 16th November.
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In what seems to be a retaliation against his impeachment and the swearing-in of Anne Kananu as the governor of Nairobi, Sonko made a slew of allegations bringing Twitter to a tirade. First Sonko alleges that his impeachment and the dismissal of his petition against Kananu’s swearing-in was a result of undue influence and corruption in the judiciary. He then goes on to allege that Anne Kananu used uncouth and immoral methods to acquire favor from judge Chitembwe, among other judges and some of his (Sonko’s) former lawyers.
Kananu’s Alleged Uncouth and Immoral Ascent to Power
Sonko further made damning allegations that Anne Kananu slept with the judge, other judges, and lawyers to sway them on their ruling, arguing and stances on the petition against her swearing-in. In what is now a corruption expose cum sex scandal, Sonko alleges that Kananu literally slept her way to the top, quoting and showing clips of a lady who he says is his informant making the claims.
The lady in question goes by the name Merry Nkatha, who is allegedly a close friend and confidant of Miss Kananu. In one of the clips, Sonko seems to be having an intimate conversation with the lady where she offers to show him a nude of her bosom, eliciting heated reactions on Twitter.
Merry Nkatha: Kananu’s Close Confidant Turned Sonko’s Informant
Merry Nkatha made a slew of allegations against Anne Kananu, before later retracting the statement when the matter went public. Miss Nkatha recorded a statement with the police in Karen saying that she was kidnapped, held at gunpoint, and given a script from which she read from while replying to Sonko on phone. The clips portraying her are mostly recorded video calls, documenting her allegations. One interesting allegation is that judge Chitembwe has a reputation to collect bribes in lavatories.
Miss Nkatha details grotesque actions that she alleges were carried out by Kananu to ensure her ascent to the top office in Nairobi. She even says that Kananu offered her a cabinet position that she declined. If the allegations are credible, then they detail deep-seated corruption in the judiciary and the impunity therein. They also show how a cabal opposed to Sonko and led by Anne Kananu wrongfully impeached Sonko and influenced the judiciary against his petitions. According to Chief Justice Koome, A corrupt judiciary denies citizens their rights and frustrates justice.
Sonko’s Retaliation or a Genuine Fight for Justice?
Sonko’s expose and the clips thereby are mainly secret recordings of one-on-one conversations and video calls. He is known to record conversations and documents numerous encounters even with those in the higher-ups. Critics say that Sonko is retaliating for his impeachment and consequent replacement even as some of the allegations he makes seem credible. The matter is under investigation and we cannot competently verify whether the allegations are credible or not. Mike Sonko may just be out for revenge or genuinely trying to expose the corruption in the judiciary and some if not most, of its judges, advocates, and officers. He has been known to heavily critique and protest against what he sees as injustice, even during his tenure as Nairobi governor.