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Nairobi Governor Sonko under probe over city militia

Friday June 21 2019

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko chairs an Executive meeting on March 15, 2018 regarding a financial audit. He is under investigations over his alleged links to a militia named Sonko Defence Force. PHOTO | COURTESY 

JAMES KAHONGEH
By JAMES KAHONGEH
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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is under investigations over his alleged links to a militia named Sonko Defence Force.

On June 7, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations wrote to the Jubilee governor asking him to help summon three Members of the Nairobi County Assembly who have been linked to the illegal group.

The criminal activities of Sonko Defence Force were thrust into the limelight on May 1 when hundreds of youths temporarily disrupted Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park.

Donning white t-shirts, and riding on motorbikes, the rowdy youths, who carried a banner that read “Sonko Defence Force”, brought the national event to a standstill as they whistled and chanted, causing a stir for nearly 10 minutes.

So audacious was the group that they even confronted security officers deployed to contain them.

It took several minutes to drive the defiant crowd from the venue before the ceremony could proceed.

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SUMMONS

Meanwhile, Mr Sonko sat fidgeting at the podium, and appearing to make frantic calls.

Now the DCI wants the controversial governor to help in summoning three MCA in Nairobi County to “shed light on what they know about the alleged militia”.

The three MCAs are Ruth Ndumi, a Jubilee Party nominated MCA, Patricia Mutheu of Mlango Kubwa and Anthony Kiragu Karanja of Waithaka Ward.

The order was issued by C. S Kobina, the Divisional Criminal Investigations Officer at the Central Police Station.

Mr Sonko has, however, denied claims of the existence of such a militia, calling the investigations an attempt to divert attention of the people of Nairobi from important county matters.

“This kind of stupidity must stop,” Mr Sonko said in direct address to Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho through a Facebook post on Thursday.

“Stop intimidating and threatening members of the Nairobi City County Assembly…No amount of intimidation will stop me and the County Assembly Members from exercising our democratic rights,” he added.

FALLOUT

The governor defended himself, noting that he has contributed to the reduction of crime in the city through rehabilitation and transformation of youth.

“I have even offered rewards to members of the public who volunteer information to police,” he said in the post.

According to Mr Sonko, the said youth have been deployed in Nairobi’s beautification programme and to unclog the city’s drainage system, thereby earning a decent living.

But there is no love lost between Mr Kibicho and Mr Sonko in the latest clash.

The pair has locked horns before, with Mr Sonko claiming that the PS was out to undermine and intimidate him.

In February this year, Mr Sonko accused Mr Kibicho and others of “holding night meetings” to plot to scuttle DP William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid, accusations that were denied by Mr Kibicho.

In August 2018, Mr Sonko ran the affairs of the city county from his Mua Hills home in Machakos County, claiming that the PS had threatened his life.

It took the intervention of President Kenyatta to end the fallout.

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