Sonko now impeached in an intriguing process
Governor Mike Sonko’s impeachment moves to the courts and Senate with the embattled leader hoping for a lenient process after Members of the County Assembly voted to impeach him.
Nairobi has now been thrown into a leadership crisis after Sonko failed to appoint a substantive deputy.
Manoeuvres by Sonko, who whisked away a section of Ward Reps to a hotel at the Coast to scuttle the removal, did not succeed as the MCAs from both governing Jubilee Party and Opposition closed ranks to kick out the controversial county chief for failure to sign the budget.
If approved by the Senate, the move may pave the way for an election in the country’s most populous county and East Africa’s diplomatic hub.
Matters are complicated by the fact that Nairobi county has no deputy after Sonko’s failure to replace Polycarp Igathe, who resigned in January 2018.
In a session that lasted for close to four hours, 88 Members of County Assembly (MCAs) supported the motion accusing the governor of violating the Constitution, abuse of office and gross misconduct with only two voting against it.
There were 58 MCAs in the chambers with others logged in virtually.
Speaker Benson Mutura attained a quorum of 42 MCAs, giving the green light for the motion to be debated.
Sonko is further accused of crippling operations of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and the Executive by failure to assent to the Sh37 billion budget.
Speaking after the vote, Majority Leader Abdi Guyo welcomed the decision, describing it as “a game changer” for the residents of Nairobi.
“We want to apologise to our party leader and Jubilee for the wrong decision we made of electing Sonko.
The county has suffered a lot under his leadership but we are happy now change has arrived,” said Guyo.
He said focus now shifts to the Senate, where they are set to prosecute their case against the governor and expressed confidence that the impeachment will be upheld.
Majority Whip Peter Kados described Sonko’s leadership as “full of drama and shenanigans”.
On his part, the mover of the motion, Embakasi Ward MCA Michael Ogada, said Nairobians deserve better leadership.
“We have consulted and we have tried. Mr Speaker, we have held meetings in your office together with the Executive to try find ways on how we can bring solutions to this county.
We have no other option but to execute our last mandate to impeach Governor Sonko,” he said.
Sonko is also accused of violation of protocols in the procurement of goods and services, irregular procurement in projects including the Dandora Stadium, inability to constitute a working Cabinet with almost all his ministers working in acting capacity.
People Daily has established that some MCAs who accompanied the governor to Mombasa may have voted in favour of his impeachment.
According to our sources, about 20 MCAs who cast their vote virtually voted in favour of the motion after the governor “failed to honour his part of the bargain”.
“Immediately after the press conference on Monday, our governor promised us good things but to our surprise he failed to deliver,” said the source.
14 MCAs have threatened to move to court for what they termed as fraud in the Assembly after they were logged in for the impeachment motion in their absence. They described the move as illegal.
Members who support Sonko accused the Clerk of violating the law by logging them into the voting system.
“We are going to explore all legal means possible to ensure people are held accountable. You can’t rig by logging in members who are not in the Assembly,” said Anthony Karanja, Withaa MCA.
Some of the MCA’s who were allegedly logged in for voting include Jared Ondieki, Francis Otieno, Patrick Musili, Nicholas Okumu, Wilson Ochola, Jared Okode and Clarence Munga.
Others are Alvin Palapala, Lawrence Otieno, Fuad Mohamed, Millicent Okach, Caroline Manyunzu and Maurice Onyango.
“This is fraud of the highest order. We want to urge the Director of Criminal Investigations to investigate this fraud happening in the Assembly, because this is the death of democracy,” said Wilson Ochola, an MCA opposed to the impeachment motion.