Hold your horses, Sonko tells MCAs on ouster bid

Mike Sonko

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • On Thursday, a total of 86 MCAs — 47 from ODM and 39 from Jubilee — appended their signature to the notice of impeachment motion against a threshold of only 42 MCAs.
  • Two-thirds, or 82 out of the 122 MCAs, will be needed to vote in support of the motion on Thursday for it to sail through.

Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has dismissed a fresh attempt to impeach him as premature, saying the court is yet to rule on a petition filed against a similar motion lodged by Minority Whip Peter Imwatok in February.

The governor, through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, told assembly Speaker Benson Mutura that Justice Byram Onganya had on October 23 dismissed a preliminary objection to the petition.

“The petition is pending determination and constitutes a live proceeding within Nairobi County Assembly Standing Order 49(3)(c) ... and you are fully aware that the matter is scheduled before the court on December 3, 2020. Indisputably, these are live proceedings,” said Mr Kinyanjui in his letter to Speaker Mutura dated November 27.  However, Mr Mutura has countered that Mr Imwatok’s motion stands withdrawn after it failed to meet set guidelines.

“Accordingly, now that (Mr) Imwatok failed to meet the timelines prescribed, I hereby clarify that the motion by the member, on the removal of the governor from office, stands withdrawn in accordance with Standing Order 49(3),” said Mr Mutura.

But Mr Kinyanjui argued that it is only Mr Imwatok who can withdraw his impeachment motion in accordance with Standing Order 55(2) which stipulates that only the member who gave the notice can withdraw it.

Nevertheless, the assembly’s leadership is adamant that Mr Sonko’s fate is sealed and not even President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM party Leader Raila Odinga or the courts will save him.  Mr Imwatok said the February attempt failed because the assembly did not have signatures verified by a substantive clerk, but now they have Edward Gichana in place.

Appended 39 signatures

On Friday, Mr Sonko put on a brave face, saying he was ready for any eventuality: “I do not need to be saved. I will stand firm like the Senate when they were dealing with the County Revenue Bill. I will not, I shall not and I am not going to append my signature to give funds to an illegal entity.”  Mr Imwatok said the motion has the backing of most MCAs who want the governor relieved of his duties for denying Nairobi residents services by constantly frustrating the operations of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

“If he (Sonko) thinks the impeachment is just an ODM affair, he is dead wrong. If Jubilee did not want Sonko to go, they would not have appended 39 signatures to the notice of impeachment motion,” he said.

On Thursday, a total of 86 MCAs — 47 from ODM and 39 from Jubilee — appended their signature to the notice of impeachment motion against a threshold of only 42 MCAs.

Two-thirds, or 82 out of the 122 MCAs, will be needed to vote in support of the motion on Thursday for it to sail through.

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