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How Sonko caused Assembly quorum hitch

Thursday February 20 2020
court

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko before the Milimani anti-corruption court on February 18, 2020. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

Details have now emerged of the lengths to which Governor Mike Sonko is going to scuttle any attempts to impeach him.

The governor’s impeachment ghost has been lurking since December when a court barred him from accessing his office over a Sh357 million graft case he is facing.

Fearing that the much-awaited censure motion by Nairobi MCAs was going to be introduced yesterday, the governor reached out to all the Jubilee Party ward representatives to stop the process spearheaded by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party MCAs.

Keen to pull a fast one on the pro-impeachment camp, Governor Sonko called the MCAs for a meeting at his Upper Hill private office early in the morning to forestall any plans to oust him.

NO CENSURE MOTION

The meeting, which was attended by more than 50 Jubilee MCAs, lasted several hours. The county legislators were only let free after it was confirmed that there was no censure motion.

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One of the MCAs who attended the meeting told the Nation that the governor begged them not to sign or support his impeachment.

“He called us some minutes to 8am for a meeting. This was meant to frustrate the House’s quorum,” the MCA said.

Roysambu Ward MCA Peter Warutere confirmed the meeting and said that 62 MCAs had been invited.

He intimated that fear spread when some of the Jubilee MCAs were removed from the House Business Committee on Tuesday.

“We (Jubilee MCAs) are at Upper Hill with the governor. The governor called for a meeting before the plenary. We are here to discuss the issue of the coming notice of motion on the impeachment of Governor Sonko,” Mr Warutere said.

The county assembly needs 41 out of the 122 members to transact any business.

By reaching out to the Jubilee MCAs, the governor was sure to scuttle his ouster. True to the plan, only 10 Jubilee MCAs were present in the assembly.

The plan also included reaching out to ODM leaders.

In a letter by ODM Nairobi branch chairman and Makadara MP George Aladwa, MCAs were warned not to play any part in the impeachment process since “the party is not supporting the move”.

WILL NOT INTERFERE

“I have been directed by the Party Leader Hon Raila Odinga to advise the honourable members that the party is not supporting the move (impeachment),” said Mr Aladwa in the letter dated February 19 addressed to Minority Leader David Mberia.

However, Mr Aladwa’s letter was quickly overruled by ODM Party Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, who made it clear that the party will not interfere with the power granted directly by the people to MCAs.

Embakasi MCA Michael Ogada, who has been collecting signatures, maintained that the ouster plan was on and they will bring the motion “soon”.

“I assure you that we are on course and we already have over 80 signatures. I would not have moved on with it if I was not sure of its success,” he said.

Minority Leader David Mberia echoed Mr Ogada’s assertions.

A Jubilee Ward representative confirmed that he had signed the motion and was ready to vote out Mr Sonko to save Nairobi from total collapse.

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