Nairobi News


Want to call Sonko? Think again

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko has proved once again that he cannot be anybody’s confidante, he simply cannot keep any secrets.

If you have a telephone conversation with him, you are most likely to end up hearing the audio clip leaked on social media or live television.

During an interview on the JK Live show on Citizen TV on Wednesday night, Mr Sonko brought with him text messages and audio clips of his chats with the Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris as well as documents to defend himself against accusations made by her during the recent Madaraka Day fete.

The governor had lashed out at her at the celebrations after she complained about delays in approving a project, and raised concern that the city chief did not answer her calls.


The incident elicited anger and condemnation from Kenyans on social media who said Mr Sonko’s behaviour amounted to gender-based violence.

The host of the show, Mr Jeff Koinange barred the governor from revealing all of the messages he had come with. He later walked out of the show and went live on Facebook to display the correspondences from April 30.

He projected the screen of his phone on a big monitor and went through all their correspondence, even playing audio conversation.

He said he wanted to prove that Ms Passaris asks for money from him and that he support her projects within the county. He had earlier leaked a phone conversation with Ms Passaris on the same.

“How come when she asks for money I give it to her in good faith, yet when I dish cash out to the poor people, it is corruption money? Why the double standards?” Mr Sonko posed.

He went on to accuse Ms Passaris of trying to extort money from the public coffers by demanding double per diems for her trips abroad.

He showcased how he had supported her projects, from helping families bury their dead to giving school children a treat to helping raise funds for a new school bus.


Ms Passaris is not the only victim of Mr Sonko’s habit of leaking conversations made in confidence.

In August last year, the governor leaked a telephone conversation with his Kiambu counterpart Mr Ferdinand Waititu, who was pleading for the release of his wife Susan Wangari, who had been arrested with 14 others.

Earlier in the year, Mr Sonko leaked screenshots and audios of his conversations with his former deputy Mr Polycarp Igathe, before the former resigned from his position after just five months. He posted the screenshots of the messages to dispute reports that the two were not getting along.

In 2014, the flamboyant governor was on the spot again after he put President Uhuru Kenyatta on loud speaker while having a telephone conversation with him in public.

At the time, he was the Nairobi senator. He had stormed an area of South B where former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei led the demolition of buildings erected on public land. He called the president for intervention and put him on speaker phone for the crowd to hear.