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DPP Haji Orders For The Arrest Of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko So Here’s What’s Happening Next



DPP Haji has ordered for the arrest and prosecution of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and several county employees over alleged graft.

In a press briefing at his office on Friday, DPP Haji further ordered the arrest of several county employees as well as other persons of interest for receiving monies and unlawful acquisition of public property, money laundering and other economic crimes.

“Following a comprehensive investigation by the EACC and upon receiving and independently reviewing the investigation file I have found sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution and I have therefore ordered for the immediate arrest and arraignment in court of Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko,” said Haji.

DPP Haji further revealed that the Sonko case has been very challenging due to his attempts to interfere with the course of investigations as well as employing intimidation tactics including the use of goons to threaten investigating officers in the case.

“The investigations by EACC uncovered numerous instances of criminal conduct and a general disregard of the law by the governor and othes in charge,” said DPP Haji.

The DPP intimated that investigations blatantly showed that the actions of Governor Sonko and the accused persons put their interests first before the interest of the residents of Nairobi.

“This constitutes a clear and reprehensible abuse of public trust. These individuals being charged chose to break laws, actions which they must be held accountable in order to preserce the public trust,” said DPP Haji.

On September 3, 2019, Sonko was grilled at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over alleged irregularities in garbage collection tenders worth over Ksh.160 million.

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The Nairobi Governor Sonko had been summoned by the commission over graft claims in the awarding of tenders in the financial years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.

This was after a report from the Nairobi County Assembly Public Accounts Committee revealed that Ksh.162 million paid to at least 11 contracted garbage collection firms could not be accounted for.

The report suggested that over Ksh.202 million was paid out to the firms but only Ksh.40 million was regularly spent, hence raising eye brows over the remaining Ksh.162 million.

So now the big question is what’s next for Nairobi?

A crisis looms in Nairobi City County should governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko find himself behind bars and barred from accessing his office should a precedence that has befallen two of his colleagues catch him.

Sonko leads a county without a Deputy Governor and with an embattled County Assembly Speaker who has not steered Assembly operations for a year now.

Governor Mike Sonko was recently reported to be holed up in meetings with his strategists looking for solutions to his latest headache.

This follows a 5.8 billion tax debt that could lead to prosecution of key County Officials alongside the controversial garbage tenders with a Ksh. 20 million deposit in his account

Sonko is reported to be mulling the pros and cons of appointing a Deputy Governor nominee, who would step in should he find himself charged and barred from accessing his office.

Article 182 of the constitution Sub-article 4 provides that:  “If a vacancy occurs in the of office of county governor and that of deputy county governor, or if the deputy county governor is unable to act, the speaker of the county assembly shall act as county governor.”

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Should Governor Sonko be barred from accessing his office before nominating a deputy and having him or her approved by the assembly for formal appointment, questions would arise over the Speaker to act as governor.

Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi was ousted from office on September 6, 2018.

It’s been one year, and even though the Employment and Labour Relations Court reinstated her in May, she has not presided a sitting of the Assembly.

Would she then ascend to the position of Acting Governor given the hostile situation she finds herself in, after being impeached by a majority of Nairobi MCAs and reinstated by the court?

Even then, Sub-article 5 of article 182 of the constitution provides that in an instance of a vacancy occurring of a governor and his or her deputy, an election to the office of county governor shall be held within 60 days after the speaker assumes office.

But the Speaker’s ascension in Sonko’s case would not be out of vacancy but inability to act caused by a court process.

In the event that Governor Sonko picks a Deputy Governor Nominee and submits the name to the Assembly, a committee chaired by the Speaker would have to be constituted to vet the nominee

The question is, would the assembly allow Speaker Elachi to constitute that panel?

If not, would the Acting Speaker Chege Mwaura chair such a panel given the cause for his election as acting speaker has since been quashed by the courts?

Governor Sonko has been without a deputy for 19 months now.

At least two false starts have been reported, having nominated Hardliner Miguna Miguna who at the time was facing deportation.

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Miguna was however rejected by Elachi as not being a Jubilee member as per procedure.

Thereafter, Sonko reneged on a promise to announce a nominee to allow for consultations.

Additional report from Citizen.

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