Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko appearance at State House raised more questions than answers, despite the governor witnessing President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nairobi MCAs seal a deal that saved him from impeachment.
On Saturday, February 29, the MCAs agreed to call off the impeachment motion, as Roysambu MCA Peter Warutere, explained to kenyagist.com that the president had urged them to focus on the Big 4 Agenda.
However, in photos sent by Presidential Strategic Communication Unit, Sonko appeared to have taken a step back in the meeting between Kenyatta and the MCAs.
(From left) Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi at State House on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
In the first photo, Kenyatta chaired the meeting, still alongside Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi. Sonko was nowhere on the main table.
Seeing that the governor is more powerful than the senator and county speaker, questions can be raised on his absence at the main table.
Sakaja has been Sonko’s critic. On Thursday, November 21, he called out the governor over the state of affairs in Nairobi and claimed that Sonko had overseen the collapse of the city, going on to state that the capital was drowning in corruption and mismanagement.
“The people are being treated to all manner of shadow boxing, dramatisation ‘vipindiree‘ in the name of fighting cartels. Nairobians are demanding accountability of the billions of shillings that have been allocated to Nairobi annually,” Sakaja stated in an interview on a local TV station.
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka on his hand is leading Senators in discussing the deed of transfer of functions after Sonko signed a deal that transferred key duties to the national government; health, transport, planning and development services and public works, utilities and ancillary services.
Eugene Wamalwa then took over running Nairobi County, as the transfer of functions under Article 187 of the Constitution, mandated his office to take charge.
Elachi on Tuesday, February 25, afforded Sonko a lifeline to counter his ouster, asking him to present his defence against the impeachment motion, which Kenyatta finally poured water over.
In the second photo, as Kenyatta was addressing the MCAs, Sonko couldn’t be seen anywhere in the front line, nor in the crowd.
The governor only surfaced when Kenyatta took a group photo with the MCAs. The governor sat on the right side of Kenyatta.
In an interview with the Daily Nation on Friday, February 28, the embattled county chief downplayed the perception that he had been coerced into surrendering his duties to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.
“Unbeknown to many, the Tuesday event was the culmination of a series of consultations we have had with the President on how best we can serve the people. It does not mean that I cease to be the governor. No, I’m firmly in charge at the City Hall and we remain focused on delivering on the Jubilee manifesto,” the governor stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing Members of Nairobi’s Count Assembly at State House on February 29, 2020.