What you need to know:
- He insists he will not change the way he goes about his duties despite grumblings from some of his employees and the electorate.
- The decision to work from his Mua home in Machakos County, some 62 kilometres from his office in Nairobi, is among the actions that have raised eyebrows.
Act 1 scene I: Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, partially disguised, is riding a motorcycle to Pumwani Maternity Hospital.
But unlike the Messiah in the Bible whose ride on a modest means of travel ushered him to a triumphant entry to Jerusalem, Mr Sonko is not about to walk on a carpet made of people’s clothes.
Act 1 scene II: After Mr Sonko discovers bodies stashed in boxes at Pumwani, he dissolves the hospital’s board, suspends a number of hospital staff and replaces them with others.
The next day, enter four of Nairobi County staff. They talk to the media, saying there are more underlying issues plaguing the hospital. Then Mr Sonko suspends all of them, citing insubordination.
Those events from last week were fresh scenes in the never-ending farcical and sometimes tragicomic drama series that Governor Sonko has been serving Kenyans in his public life.
Not everyone is amused by the Sonko drama but, like the main character in the play Julius Caesar who could not see a reason to dread the Ides of March, he is sticking to his guns.
He insists he will not change the way he goes about his duties despite grumblings from some of his employees and the electorate.
On a Wednesday interview on Citizen TV, Mr Sonko took time to explain himself and his ways, suggesting that he would not take a diplomatic approach to issues like his predecessor Evans Kidero, who in his opinion failed in his mandate of delivering services to the people.
True to his outspoken and abrasive nature dating back to a decade ago when he took a plunge into politics, Mr Sonko’s style as the capital’s chief executive is interesting.
If he is not publicly falling out with senior government officials, he will probably be sacking or suspending his staff over claims of abuse of office or corruption.
Else, he could be making impromptu visits, often beamed live on his Facebook account to reprimand public officers for not handling their duties in a professional manner.
On some occasions, you will find him publicly blasting some MCAs in a not-so-pleasant manner.
“In Nairobi, you have to be tough. Kidero was soft and spent much time listening and trying to look for solutions through talking. I want to go to where the problem is and look for a solution while on the ground,” Mr Sonko asserted.
The decision to work from his Mua home in Machakos County, some 62 kilometres from his office in Nairobi, is among the actions that have raised eyebrows.
As if on cue, his critics have attempted to make political capital from this decision. They claim he has “abandoned” his City Hall offices.
While the governor explains that he made the move partially for security reasons, he insists this will not change.
He even came up with an interesting explanation, suggesting he was more comfortable working next to his father’s grave.
“There is no problem with that. I am always in Nairobi when needed. I was at Pumwani hospital at 6am on the day I was tipped that there was a problem,” he said.
“I agree with all those who say I work from Mua. My father was laid to rest in Mua. He used to be my best friend. I really miss him a lot and he had a lot of hope in me. I go to Mua because his grave is there. I will never leave my father’s grave,” Mr Sonko said.
Initially declaring the subject as a “non-issue”, Mr Sonko would, later on, declare he was not about to stop his well-known habit of recording telephone conversations with other leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, and sharing them online.
Even US President Donald Trump, Sonko explained, records his telephone conversations.
Mr Sonko would go on to justify the reason why he elected to record his infamous conversation with Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu moments after the latter’s wife was arrested by City Council askaris.
Those actions, the governor stated, were aimed at earning revenge after Baba Yao had rubbished his efforts to demolish illegal structures within Nairobi.
“Mimi nilikuwa nataka Waititu arudi chini,” he said. “Alikuwa anasema hiyo mambo ya corruption, enda pole pole, hii mambo ya kuvunja sijui riparian, sijui alikuwa amefundishwa kule India mahali alienda university nyumba iwachwe to ipite kando. I was offended.”
He went on: “That day (when I recorded him) I was a bit angered because he was in some church. I realised he was playing politics and I didn’t know.”
And on the Pumwani matter, he said he would not shy off dismissing anyone.
“That nonsense must stop na ikiendelea nitafuta watu (if it continues I will sack people),” Mr Sonko said.