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Will today’s State House meeting save Mike Sonko?

By Collins Omulo February 29th, 2020 2 min read

All Nairobi Jubilee MCAs have been summoned to State House in a move that could save embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko from impeachment.

The ward representatives will today (Saturday) meet President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi just days ahead of the tabling of an impeachment motion against Governor Sonko, slated for Tuesday next week.

“Good afternoon Hon members. Kindly be advised that we have a meeting tomorrow (Saturday) at statehouse at 9.00 am. I request that we be seated by 8.45am,” read communication by Majority Whip June Ndegwa to the MCAs.

This latest development comes just days after another meeting at State House saw Mr Sonko relinquish almost all functions of the county government to the State.

In the landmark deal, the City Hall chief handed over four key functions of the county government and in effect seven out of the 10 departments at City Hall will next month be under the control of the National Government.

It is during the Tuesday meeting that sources told Nairobi News that the President ruled out any by-election in the capital city after advise from the National Treasury or dissolution of the county as this would mean even more expenses for the National Government to fund IEBC for the exercise.

It is in light of the catch-22 situation that the Head of State found himself in that prompted the taking over of key functions of Nairobi County government, which were on the brink of total collapse.

And now the meeting, according to a source, is to have a common ground over the Tuesday impeachment motion that is being spearheaded by the opposition.

“Most of Jubilee MCAs had warmed up to removing Sonko from office and are ready to do so necessitating the meeting. I know we will be told not to support it in case it arrives,” said a Jubilee MCA who did not want to be named due to sensitivity of the matter.

On Thursday, Mr Sonko, through his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, put up a show of defiance saying he would not respond to grounds and particulars cited for his removal from office, sending signals that he might know a lot after the State House meeting.

Governor Sonko had been given until Monday to present his written response on the allegations raised against him in the notice of impeachment Thursday last week.

Nairobi County is hanging in a precarious position as removal of Governor Sonko from office would necessitate a by-election after 60 days of Speaker Beatrice Elachi assuming the position of acting Governor as per Article 182 of the Constitution.

The county has had no deputy that would take over, in a similar way as it was in Kiambu County since Polycarp Igathe resigned in January 2018.

Moreover, Governor Sonko’s nominee to the position, Disaster Management Chief Officer Anne Mwenda is yet to be vetted by the assembly and so cannot assume the position in case of his ouster.

On Wednesday, Minority Whip Peter Imwatok, the spearheader of the censure motion, maintained that the impeachment plans were still on and has not in any way been affected by the takeover of key functions of the county government by the State.

He was bullish saying that the development was a clear indication that the Nairobi County government has a governor who is incapacitated.

“We must unanimously resolve on Tuesday to send him to the Senate to now take care of the baggage. The plane has landed and there is no going back. We must fight corruption,” said Mr Imwatok.