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Governor Sonko impeached by MCAs

By Collins Omulo December 3rd, 2020 3 min read

Nairobi ward representatives have passed a motion to impeach Governor Mike Sonko and recommended his removal from office.

This is after 88 ward representatives voted in support of a censure motion against him, surpassing the two-thirds threshold of 82 votes during the Thursday afternoon debate.

The number is two more than the 86 MCAs that had signed the notice of impeachment motion.

The governor, who had claimed he had more than 90 MCAs in his camp in Kwale County, failed to appear virtually to defend himself against grounds levelled against him.

Announcing the resolution, Speaker Benson Mutura said that only two MCAs voted against the impeachment motion by Minority Leader Michael Ogada with no one abstaining.

“Having confirmed that a total of 88 MCAs have voted in favour of the impeachment motion with only two against and nil abstaining, I declare that Governor Sonko stands removed as Nairobi County governor having attained the two-thirds majority vote needed,” said Mr Mutura.

The censure motion was moved by Nairobi County Assembly Minority Leader Michael Ogada.

According to multiple sources who spoke to the Nation, Sonko crossed the red line through constant actions aimed at frustrating operations of the newly-formed Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS). This includes denying the NMS funds.

Scuttling the motion

Early this week, the City Hall boss shepherded dozens of MCAs to Mombasa in a scheme aimed at scuttling the motion.

At least 38 MCAs allied to the governor left Nairobi for Mombasa on Monday evening, soon after a chaotic press briefing at Riverside in Nairobi, where they vowed to defeat the impeachment motion facing Sonko.

Multiple sources told Nation that the county legislators have been operating in three places in Mombasa and Kwale counties in a bid not to be easily located.

Sonko, whose fate now lies with the Senate, is facing a second impeachment bid which has been a long time coming.

In February this year, Sonko survived an ouster motion after the court intervened stopping tabling of a motion against him but not this time around.

During the impeachment process he was accused of gross violation of the Constitution and other laws, abuse of office, commission of crimes under the national laws and lacking the mental capability to run the county government.

Mr Ogada rallied the county legislators to exercise their powers to impeach the governor as all efforts that have been put in place to have Mr Sonko mend his ways have proven futile.

“This House has no other option but to exercise the power of impeachment. The plane has landed and it is now our time to stand and be counted by not allowing the county government to go to the dogs,” said Mr Ogada.

Extra day in office

Seconding the motion, Majority Leader Abdi Guyo said the bid to remove Mr Sonko from office was necessitated by the need to restore normal operations at the county government to ensure services reach Nairobi residents.

“It is time we send the governor back to Mua Hills as we cannot allow him to sit an extra day in office. I apologise on behalf of the Jubilee Party for having elected an inefficient governor,” said Mr Guyo.

“We are happy that some MCAs already escorted Sonko back to where he came from. We are tired of him as we need development and not theatrics,” said Majority Whip Paul Kados.

On his part, Minority Whip Peter Imwatok said, “We cannot leave a county government of more than four million people to go to the dogs. We must rescue it. The governor has no choice but to remain in Kwale where he currently is.”

“For the past three years, we have tried to work with the governor but that has not been possible. We have instead been treated to charade,” said Ngara MCA and former acting Speaker Chege Mwaura.

With the passage of the motion, Speaker Mutura will inform the Speaker of the Senate of the resolution within two days.

The matter will then be taken over by the Senate provided the governor does not go to court to challenge his impeachment.

If the resolution is upheld by the Senate, then Speaker Mutura will then act as Nairobi’s governor for 60 days before a by-election is called.