What you need to know:
- With 57 MCAs at his home in Kwale County, Sonko's camp was certain that the censure motion would flop.
- Speaker Mutura had by Friday forwarded the resolution by the county assembly to Senate Speaker.
The finer details have now emerged of how proponents of the impeachment bid against Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko managed to outwit him in the game of numbers.
Governor Sonko, sure that he had managed to ferry out enough MCAs to deny the ouster motion the required two-thirds threshold, forgot to properly cover his tracks.
With 57 MCAs at his home in Kwale County, Sonko's camp was certain that the censure motion by Minority Leader Michael Ogada would flop.
But a betrayal was brewing right under his nose with his downfall being plotted from within and without, hundreds of kilometres away in Nairobi.
The scheme was planned to precision with the actors feigning unequivocal support to his course yet sharpening the dagger that would slay him on Thursday right.
Sonko's streetwise move of taking away mobile phones of the ward representatives and giving them new ones with new lines proved a costly mistake in the end.
Ogada, who is the MCA for Embakasi ward, has revealed how Governor Sonko laid a trap for the MCAs by telling them to go for money at his private office in Nairobi. Little did the MCAs know a plan had been hatched to take them out of the capital city.
“They are used to going and picking money then they disappear. So Sonko decided to pull a fast one on them by laying a trap for them. They were given the money but were told they will not be allowed to leave the compound. They were then bundled into tour vans off to Kwale under tight security,” Ogada said.
Cash and air tickets
However, he said there were some seven MCAs who would later follow their counterparts willfully to Kwale after being given Sh1 million and air tickets.
Ferrying away the MCAs as well as confiscating their mobile phones and switching them off sent panic waves for those in Nairobi.
Delicately poised and the pro-impeachment team staring at an ignominious defeat, plan B had to be set in motion to salvage the situation.
Scratching their heads and running out of options with the D-day fast approaching, the governor committed a grave mistake.
“Giving the MCAs phones way before the impeachment motion had been dispensed was his downfall. He blundered big time,” said Mr Ogada.
“The new numbers would quickly be leaked to us. We would then send the Zoom link to enable the MCAs vote in a move that caught the governor and his team unawares. They were not supposed to vote and so he should not have given them the new lines,” he added.
The ODM MCA said there was party position on the matter and there was no turning back as the plane had left the runway and had to land safely.
“Many people were sent to me with offers to dissuade me from proceeding with the motion. The was a Sh5 million offer which was upped to Sh15 million before it was doubled to Sh30 million. But I still sent those emissaries away,” said Mr Ogada.
Sensing defeat was coming, Sonko started shouting from the rooftops that a number of MCAs supporting his course were being “impersonated” with their Zoom accounts hacked and logged into without their knowledge.
Sonko was eventually impeached, with more than 80 MCAs voting in support of the censure motion with only two going against.
Interestingly, more than 30 out of the 57 MCAs who were in Kwale had been part of the 86 MCAs who had signed the notice of impeachment motion against the governor last week.
Claims of foul play
Announcing the resolution, Speaker Benson Mutura said 88 MCAs voted in support of the impeachment motion by Mr Ogada.
The number is two more than the 86 MCAs that had signed the notice of impeachment motion.
“Having confirmed that a total of 88 MCAs have voted in favour of the impeachment motion with only two against and nil abstaining, I declare that Governor Sonko stands removed as Nairobi County governor having attained the two-thirds majority vote needed,” said Mr Mutura.
The governor, who had touted having more than 90 MCAs in his camp in Kwale County, could only master two votes in his favour.
The governor’s camp is, however, alleging foul play with Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course MCA Mwangi Njihia saying the governor is considering going to court.
“We are coming for the Speaker. They will have to convince the court and the Senate how they got the 88 MCAs because we are 57 here. We are with him (Sonko) doing some paperwork in regards to his ouster,” said Mr Njihia.
On his part, Governor Sonko’s spokesperson Ben Mulwa said the governor is preparing his defence in readiness for Senate appearance.
Speaker Mutura had by Friday forwarded the resolution by the county assembly to Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, leaving Mr Sonko’s fate with the senators.