Kenya: Sonko's Impeachment Bid Well on Course, MCAs Say

2 December 2020

The assembly leadership in Nairobi County has vowed to push on with plans to impeach Governor Mike Sonko despite a court injunction.

This is even as details emerged of how the beleaguered governor plans to scuttle tomorrow's (Thursday) impeachment motion by having MCAs skip the proceedings.

The Nation has learnt that some of the county legislators who were on Monday addressing the press in support of Mr Sonko have converged in a discreet location where they will be based until the motion is dispensed with.

The MCAs yesterday switched off their phones and were unreachable for the better part of the day.

"We are in a place where I cannot reveal but what you should know is that the impeachment motion is going to fail," said one of the MCAs who requested anonymity.

The plan is to deny the assembly of the required two-thirds majority.

But Minority Whip Peter Imwatok was yesterday confident of seeing the motion through: "We are going to proceed with the impeachment motion and we are still expecting the governor to appear before the assembly at 2.30pm (tomorrow) to defend himself."

Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Nzioki Makau on Monday issued conservatory orders suspending debate of impeachment motion until an application before it by Mr Sonko's lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui is heard and determined. The matter is also set to be heard tomorrow.

However, Mr Imwatok cited the Supreme Court ruling in the case between Embu Governor Martin Wambora and the assembly Speaker, saying no institution can stop another from executing its constitutional mandate.

"We have a mandate under the Constitution and we are equal to a High Court and so we must exhibit and exercise our mandate. Our lawyers are working to appear before the court on Thursday," said the Makongeni MCA.

Plans to thwart process

Nonetheless, Governor Sonko is leaving nothing to chance, and has put in place an elaborate plan to thwart the process.

On Monday, the ward reps led by Silvia Museiya (nominated) claimed to have 90 MCAs on their side. However, the number was about 40.

Ms Museiya claimed that the pro-Sonko county legislators, drawn from both Jubilee and ODM parties, had all swore affidavits withdrawing their signatures from the notice of impeachment.

Majority Leader Abdi Guyo claimed that 38 MCAs were on Monday evening flown to Mombasa by the governor with a promise of Sh500,000 each for their support.

He, however, said the governor should start preparing his defence before the Senate as his impeachment will sail through at the assembly.

"He had 45 members but close to 20 from that group had already signed the notice of impeachment. Some of them will start running away if they do not get the promised money," said Mr Guyo.

Minority leader Michael Ogada, who tabled the impeachment motion, dismissed the numbers being floated around by the governor's faction saying most of them are there just because of the money.

The Embakasi MCA laughed off claims that ward reps had been coerced to sign the notice of impeachment.

However, Imara Daima MCA Kennedy Obuya said the impeachment bid will flop as it neither has the blessings of Jubilee nor ODM party leaders.

Governor Sonko is facing four grounds for his removal from office, including gross violation of the Constitution and other laws, abuse of office, committing a crime under national and international laws and lacking the physical and mental capability to run the county government.

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