Kenya: Sonko Faces New Ouster Bid as He Refuses to Sign Budget

An aerial view of a section of Nairobi's skyline (file photo).
25 November 2020

A group of ward representatives in Nairobi says there is a new plot to impeach Governor Mike Sonko over his refusal to sign the county government budget.

The leaders, drawn from both sides of the political divide, said an impeachment motion against the governor would be introduced at the county assembly soon.

Roysambu Ward Representative Peter Warutere and his colleagues added that a Tuesday meeting at Capitol Hill involving the leadership of the county assembly was called to strategise on reviving the motion.

Mr Sonko has been at loggerheads with may representatives after refusing to append his signature on the county's Sh37.5 billion annual budget that allocated Sh27.1 billion to Nairobi Metropolitan Services, leaving City Hall with Sh8.4 billion.

The county boss has also taken to criticising President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Mr Warutere - a Sonko ally - said plans are in motion to begin collecting signatures in support of the impeachment, but added that the scheme would fail.

"I can guarantee that Jubilee ward representatives will not support the impeachment of Mr Sonko," Mr Warutere told the Nation yesterday.

"He is our governor. If any issue touches on him, we can only take directions from the President."

Nyayo Highrise Ward Representative Kennedy Oyugi said the plan was discussed with the blessing of the Jubilee and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leadership.

He said as part of the scheme, Mr Edward Gichana would return to the assembly as the clerk.

Reached for comment, Minority Leader Michael Ogada said there was a meeting but denied the impeachment of the governor being part of the agenda.

He said the meeting was called to discuss the BBI signature collection as well as ensuring the county assembly speaks with one voice on different issues brought before it.

"It was an in-house meeting involving the assembly leaders. BBI was the main agenda. We also wanted to ensure the assembly is united," Mr Ogada said. Deputy Minority Whip Moses Ogeto said the main agenda was to rally support for the BBI bill expected to be tabled at the assembly after signatures are collected.

"The meeting was to drum up support for BBI and to make sure that we speak in one voice," the Kilimani ward representative said.

Talk of impeaching the governor has made a comeback at the assembly.

There were reports that the motion was to be tabled at the House last week, only for the proponents not to agree on the modalities.

President Kenyatta stopped a similar attempt in February.

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