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Dear senators on Sonko’s side: Kenyans are judging all of you

Friday December 13 2019
OGUPIC

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko arraigned at Milimani Law Courts on December 11, 2019. He is battling graft charges. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GABRIEL OGUDA

The Nairobi governor’s trial and tribulations have divided public opinion, but everyone agrees on one thing: there are no gray areas where Mike Sonko is concerned.

We all know his position on glittery ornaments, slim-fit T-shirts, gold-drenched cars, the latest voice recording app and the TV series 'Prison Break'.

You might not like the colourfulness of his loafers or the monotony of his dance moves, but you’ve got to give it to him for beating all odds to become the focal point of East Africa’s geopolitical and economic headquarters.

He also gets an ‘A’ for putting Lupita Nyong’o’s favourite quote (“Your dreams are valid”) to practical use.

Just over a week has passed since Mr Sonko was stopped in his tracks while staging his great escape and deported back to his stomping ground to face his fears.

SONKO'S PASSION

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His original charge sheet ranged from turning public money into his private stash to discharging himself from prison without the authority to do so.

He misbehaved while being arrested so the police enhanced his charge sheet with items ranging from being allergic to handcuffs to mistaking police officers for gym bags.

Mr Sonko should have seen his arrest coming a long time ago, but instead of using his phone to calculate how much time he had left before he ran out of second chances, he used it to record people and aggravate his already dire situation.

That no voice recording app developer has come to the defence of their number one influencer says a lot about the mannerisms of the man who arrived from the Voi airstrip and was immediately received by hot soup.

He belongs to the group of Christians who’d rather lose the whole world but save their phones.

If he was to get stuck on an island and was only allowed access to three lifesaving items, we all know he would choose his mobile phone, the mobile phone cable, and the mobile phone power bank. He'd rather die of hunger than fail to live stream his death.

DEVOLUTION

All of this makes it very worrisome that a card-carrying narcissist like him would have vocal defenders in high political places.

We all love devolution — that's why Kenyans and their politicians are unanimous in their recommendation that no county should be chalked off, for we have seen the benefits of having government services closer to the people.

Devolution has come with more goodies in the bag than Father Christmas. Skilled maternal deliveries are now happening in hitherto abandoned medical facilities in far-flung outposts.

Kenyans do not need to ask for fare to travel to Nairobi to see buildings with elevators, and you can now see Kenya Air Force jet-fighters whenever the President comes to celebrate a national holiday at a town near you.

No Kenyan of sound mind would want to see these positive gains reversed.

Kenyans have been happy to do the donkey work of protecting devolution while senators take the fees.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The fact that Kenyans have given senators the job of protecting devolution doesn't mean we can’t do it ourselves; we are mindful of the high unemployment rate, and that’s why we didn’t ask the BBI task force to scrap the Senate.

But after seeing some senators rush to the defence of those being accused of meddling with devolution money, the time has come to draw a bold line in the fine sand.

These are the same politicians who have never said a word when ordinary Kenyans face human rights injustices at the hands of government machinery.

The City County askaris do bad things to hawkers and boda-boda riders in Nairobi every day, with nary a word from our lawmakers.

But they will jump to the defence of the most dramatic governor ever.

This open show of personal greed is not about being a friend in sickness and in health.

PERSONAL INTEREST

This is about conflict of interest in discharging your oversight role which Kenyans pay you through the nose to perform.

Even Jesus had many friends but he chose to carry his own cross, knowing very well that when you’re innocent you don’t need to worry about being crucified, because even if they might kill you politically right now, you will surely rise again in the fullness of time.

Senators need to tell us if they have joined the Governor’s Club so that Kenyans can take turns going to the Senate to represent themselves.

To paraphrase the polarising words of the Nandi County Senator: "Those senators who have chosen sides with eating devolution money, Kenyans are marking you and profiling you. And if you fight those protecting public money, you're fighting us. When the time comes in 2022, we shall deal with you."

The author comments on topical issues; [email protected]

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