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Team Rainbow, land grabbing, corruption… inside Sakaja, Babu Owino’s ‘X’ beef

By Elizabeth Ngigi September 17th, 2023 3 min read

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and Embakassi East lawmaker Babu Owino spent the better part of September 17, 2023, embarrassingly shaming each other on X (formerly Twitter) over allegations of drug and alcohol abuse, land grabbing, corruption, and possession of fake academic certificates.

Babu Owino, whose real name is Paul Ongili, fuelled the war of words by challenging the county boss to account for the billions of shillings he recently allocated to bursary.

He wrote: “Stop lying @SakajaJohnson you gave MCAs 1200 bursary forms at 5k each which amounts to 6 million shillings, not 23m which you are claiming. Every ward is supposed to get 23m shillings per year for bursaries, where’s the 17m shillings per ward for 85 wards=1.4B shillings?” posed Owino.

To which Governor Sakaja was quick to respond.

He defended his administration against the accusations and appeared to clarify the situation. But in between, he accused Babu Owino of consuming some ‘white stuff’.

“If you removed the white stuff you are stuffing up your nose, you’d realize there’s a difference between bursaries and Ward-based Development funds. Bursaries are 7m per ward (85 wards). (2.5 term 1, 2.5 term 2, and 2m term 3). Up from 4.5m. Every ward is getting WDF of 23 Million for Development, not bursaries. Up from 17m,” said Sakaja.

But the MP was not done. He responded and clarified he had quit ingesting the ‘white stuff’ but then brought up the aspect of the Governor’s academic qualifications.

Sakaja spent the better part of the campaign period in the run-up to the 2022 polls defending himself against allegations that the degree he acquired from Teams University was not genuine. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision (IEBC) however cleared him to contest.

“@SakajaJohnson You said in your previous post that you gave bursaries worth 23m shillings in every ward. You are nothing in the intellectual parlance hence, you should stop misusing numbers, we are not in TEAM building http://activities.You have stolen a lot from Nairobi county and are addicted to alcohol and Bhang. For the white stuff, I stopped its consumption but you are advised to stop being a girlfriend we have more than enough ladies in kenya.”

Sakaja responded but steered clear of the academic qualifications question. Complete with photos, he reminded Babu Owino of the day he bailed him out of a Police station and brought up an issue involving a shooting incident involving an entertainer in which the lawmaker was recently acquitted for misuse of a firearm.

Not done, Sakaja appeared to direct Babu Owino to areas he could get help for drug abuse.

In his response, Babu revisited the issue of academic qualifications before responding to a separate matter which the county boss had raised in regard to a land grabbing incident.

Babu then brought about the subject of a recent investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) on corruption against Sakaja’s administration.

Separately, Babu Owino trashed the food program recently introduced by the Governor, claiming ‘it was not a priority’ by the county government.

The exchange came shortly after the Governor defended his performance amid a poll ranking that labeled him among the worst performing governor in the country.

The county boss highlighted several achievements, including increased revenue collection, higher payments for Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), and the establishment of crucial healthcare units like an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Nairobi County.

“I see such ratings and laugh. Nairobi has collected the highest revenue in 5 years and paid Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) Ksh7,640 per month, as of August 2022,” he affirmed, defending his record of accomplishments.

Also, the heated exchange unfolded a day after Babu Owino hinted at his intention to run for the position of Nairobi Governor, currently held by Johnson Sakaja.

During an interview on TV47’s “Wabebe Experience” show, the Member of Parliament exuded confidence in his political prowess, asserting he possesses qualifications that make him a viable candidate for various elective roles across the nation.

“I am more than qualified to succeed in any position in this country, whether it’s the presidency or a village elder role,” he confidently stated.

The legislator, currently serving his second term, emphasized he possesses the attributes required to secure victory in the Nairobi Governor race.

“I have the option to pursue the presidency, and I am confident I can succeed. Furthermore, I have the opportunity to run for the position of deputy president in 2027. Lastly, I am considering a bid for the governorship in 2027.”

“It’s not just about running for these positions but also about fulfilling the responsibilities that come with them because I possess all the necessary qualifications to secure victory,” he added.

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