Kenya: Sonko Hits Back at Kenyatta in Fight Over Nairobi County

18 January 2021

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has hit back at President Uhuru Kenyatta for criticising him, terming him "a failed President with nothing to show for eight years in power".

This comes after the President admitted that he instigated Sonko's removal from office over his confrontational leadership style that risked grounding service delivery in the capital.

Stung by the criticism, Sonko told off President Kenyatta, asking him to focus more on the failures of his administration than his.

The former Makadara MP accused the President of holding independent institutions at ransom and harassing leaders who differ with him.

"It is ridiculous for the President to allude to the failure of any administration yet he has presided over the worst administration in the history of Kenya. Indeed, Chief Justice (retired) David Maraga was not wrong when he suggested that the President should have been impeached by now," the former governor said in a statement.

The Judiciary is one of the institutions that has repeatedly accused the President of stifling its independence.

Validly elected

In the scathing attack on the head of State, Sonko further claimed that Mr Kenyatta's leadership has seen an unprecedented rise in unemployment level, poverty and hopelessness among millions of Kenyans, despite the borrowing over Sh8 trillion in the last eight years.

He said the President has now resorted to selling "false hope" to the public in the name of the handshake with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga and the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), as promises by his administration remain a mirage.

The former City Hall chief further disputed the President's claim that he made him the governor of Nairobi, charging that he was not his appointee as he was validly elected by close to one million Nairobians.

Sonko noted that he garnered more votes in the capital city than the President himself.

"What the President will never tell Kenyans is that his selfish agenda was the motivation behind my illegal and hurried removal from office," he said.

"There is an elaborate plan to misuse Nairobi County resources to build infrastructure for the Northlands City project, hence the illegal demolitions and evictions we saw in Ruai, Kariobangi and Korogocho, in the guise of expanding Nairobi's sewerage infrastructure," he added.

'Successful' reign

Sonko defended his short reign at City Hall, claiming that he cracked down on cartels that had held Nairobi hostage for decades despite inheriting a rundown city.

He also said he sealed all the looting avenues by digitising revenue collection and that Nairobians began to enjoy services once again without having to pay bribes.

Sonko further claimed among his achievements the construction of 140 kilometres of roads in under two years, three new fire stations in Waithaka, Kangundo Road and Ruaraka and the Karandini, New Wakulima, Mwariro, Westlands and City Park "ultra-modern" markets, as well as the elevation of Pumwani Maternity Hospital to a "world class" facility.

"The list is long and I am extremely proud of my achievements in the first two years, before cartels from State House hatched a scheme to disrupt my administration through endless summonses by their puppets, culminating in my dramatic arrest on December 6, 2019 over frivolous allegations," he said.

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