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MCAs want Sonko arrested for nominating deputy governor

Sunday January 12 2020
IMWATOK

Makongeni MCA Peter Imwatok, one of those who wants Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko arrested for contempt of court over the nomination of a deputy governor. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

A section of Nairobi MCAs have called for Governor Mike Sonko's arrest for contempt of court following his nomination of Ms Anne Kananu Mwenda as deputy governor.

The MCAs, led by minority whip Peter Imwatok, said that Sonko was barred from office over the loss of Sh357 million of the county's money.

“You were barred from your official office, where you were to be escorted by an investigative officer to pick up your personal belongings. This means everything you pick up from that office must be declared to the officers,” Mr Imwatok (Makongeni) said on Sunday.

“At what point did you access that office to [obtain] a letter head, which is a public document, for use to write the letter of nomination?”

Soon after Sonko nominated Ms Mwenda, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) wrote to Speaker Beatrice Elachi asking for the original letter of nomination.

The commission wants to establish the procedure used to nominate Ms Mwenda, who has been serving as the Disaster Management Chief Officer.

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SUSPENDED STAFF

Meanwhile, bribery allegations have emerged over the Nairobi assembly's push to recall more than 70 staff said to have been suspended without court orders.

In September 2019, Sonko suspended 16 senior City Hall staff, including 14 senior officers from the urban planning department, over the Precious Talent School disaster that left eight pupils dead.

The allegations emerged last week, when Ms Elachi accused Waithaka MCA Anthony Kiragu of peddling rumours that officers suspended from that department raised money to bribe some MCAs and people in the speaker's office, to influence their return to work.

The issue has divided MCAs, with some threatening to physically eject the officers should they be reinstated.

Some ward representatives allege a plan by “cartels” and the former assembly leadership for the employees to return.

ELACHI'S RESPONSE

During a special sitting on Thursday, Ms Elachi said her office was "perturbed by the unfounded allegation".

“This allegation is being peddled by Anthony Kiragu, who is the immediate former chairperson of the planning and housing committee. This is an allegation that this assembly, let alone the office of the speaker, cannot take lightly."

Speaker Elachi called on members with information on the matter to give it to investigative agencies, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the EACC in particular.

“I reiterate that 2020 is not a year to defame people. If you have facts and you know somebody is corrupt, you know the institutions to go to," she said.

"The house will not allow anyone, whether on social media [or on any other platform], to [tarnish] someone’s name without giving facts."

KIRAGU'S RESPONSE

Reached for comment, MCA Kiragu laughed off Ms Elachi's remarks, saying “why would she be concerned if it is not true?"

“It is very wrong for her to attack me from the floor, especially when she knows she is not giving me the right of reply. I want her to ask me the same question in a forum where I can also give my side of the story."

The EACC has shone the light on top City Hall officials in its probe into stadia projects and the hiring and firing of the assembly's board.

Ms Elachi has in the past been accused of abuse of office and misappropriation of public funds. She has denied the allegations.

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