Kenyan embattled governor Mike Sonko impeached

The embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was impeached on grounds of abuse of office, gross misconduct as well as lack of capability to run county affairs.

Kenyan governor Mike Sonko impeached over abuse of office
Governor Mike Sonko

Nairobi Kenya — Nairobi County Assembly has impeached Governor Mike Sonko in a vote that saw 88 MCAs out of 122 in favour of the ouster motion.

Two Members of the County Assembly opposed the vote while twenty others abstained.

This is despite a court declining to lift orders stopping the impeachment. Governor Sonko had petitioned the High Court to stop the ouster, arguing it was illegal and unconstitutional.

Justice James Rika on Thursday ruled that Sonko will be prejudiced if he is impeached before his case is determined.

The net effect of the impeachment in disregard of the court order would be it declared illegal.

Speaker Benson Mutura chaired the session which needed at least 82 MCAs to vote in favour of the impeachment motion.

This is like over 40 MCAs allied to Sonko, who was holed up in Diani, Kwale County, say the voting was fraudulent because they were logged into the assembly’s system even when their mobile phones were off.

One of them said they had reported the ‘fraud’ to Diani police and shared with Standard Digital an OB No.

Governor Sonko had been working behind the scenes to scuttle the impeachment and had flown the MCAs to the Coast to strategize on how to defeat the motion.

A source intimated to The Standard that the idea was to deny the Assembly a crucial two-thirds majority vote and consequently shoot down the impeachment motion, which was to be conducted virtually.

“They want to abstain from voting either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ thus making it clear to the governor that they are loyal. The governor and his team will be monitoring to see if and how they vote,” said the source.

However, the move flopped as 58 MCAs were present in the chambers with the others logging in virtually. The House needed 42 MCAs to achieve a quorum.

The motion to remove Sonko from office was moved by Minority Leader Michael Ogada.

The ward reps accused the governor of gross violation of the law, misuse of office, and inability to run the county government.

They said Sonko had failed to approve an Sh37.4 billion budget to facilitate the operations undertaken by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

Ogada also listed the irregular awarding of an Sh1.5 billion tender for the construction of stadia, among them Dandora Stadium, as a ground for Sonko’s impeachment.

This is, however, not the first time that the governor is dealing with an impeachment. Last December, a similar ouster motion was tabled by MCA Peter Imwatok.

Earlier this year, President Uhuru Kenyatta intervened and prevailed on MCAs to shelve the ouster plans to allow the deed of transfer agreement to be implemented.

Speaker Benson Mutura, while giving his communication to the House, said the earlier impeachment motion had been rendered null because it was not debated within the stipulated legal timeframe.

Johnny Mapesa

Written by Johnny Mapesa

Johnny Mapesa is an award-winning Kenyan journalist who is driven with passion and has worked for several media brands both locally and internationally and currently working with African Stand.

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