Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has refuted claims that he has gone into hiding for fear of arrest, saying he has deliberately kept away from City Hall.
Governor Sonko said that he made a personal decision to stay away from his City Hall office in order to avoid being accused of interfering with official records which might be used as evidence in ongoing investigations at the county government.
He said reports of him being in hiding are being peddled by his critics, adding that the anti-graft agencies must be allowed to do their work independently without interference or intimidation.
“This is also precisely why I have maintained total silence on the matter of EACC (Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission) investigations even after several fake news reports by media houses as I do not want to issue any statement pre-empting or jeopardising the EACC investigations, its findings or final report,” said Mr Sonko in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
But Mr Sonko pointed out that although he is not in his office, he is very much in charge of affairs at City Hall, actively overseeing the day-to-day running of the county government.
NO POWER VACUUM
“City residents can confirm that service delivery in the county is running as usual and there is no power vacuum in the county,” he said.
But the governor warned individuals who may think of taking advantage of his absence and silence to interfere with the county’s affairs that that will not happen.
The City Hall boss stated he is committed to supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta in the war against corruption in the country, saying that for it to be won, the public, the head of State and all investigative agencies must be supported.
“That is why I am on record promising to step aside if I will be found to have a case to answer on any of the allegations under investigations touching on Nairobi County,” he said.
WAR ON GRAFT
The governor said that although he stands out and never shies away from controversy, he cannot be in the front line to support the war against corruption then when accused of the same, he starts fighting the agencies tasked with tackling it.
“No doubt I could have allowed throngs of my supporters to accompany me to EACC as did Kiambu Governor Waititu, but I insisted on going there alone based on my belief that everyone should carry his own cross and the summons were directed to me in my capacity as the governor of Nairobi and not the people I serve or any of my supporters,” said Mr Sonko.
Mr Sonko maintained that he will not be bulldozed into appointing a deputy governor, hitting out at “fake friends” who have been pushing him to appoint a number two as well as step aside.
He reiterated that he has left the matter to legal experts to interpret the implications when both a governor and his deputy have to be absent from office or step aside temporarily at the same time.
“I will only appoint my deputy once the ongoing legislation on County Government Amendment Bill which is pending before the Senate and National Assembly's mediation committee is concluded and forwarded to the President for assenting,” said Mr Sonko.