A troubled reign: Sonko’s journey of political manoeuvres
The Senate holds the key to Governor Mike Sonko’s political career as it debates and makes a decision on his impeachment motion.
Sonko’s is a journey of political manoeuvres that may not have gone so well for him especially over the last one year.
In 12 months, the governor has lost not just access to his official office, but control of a city he campaigned vigorously to lead.
When Governor Mike Sonko was arrested at the Coast last December, his was a rude shock for a governor who had staged his rhetoric as one that would not entertain graft or its mention.
And he thought it was just a short inconvenience. He was later arraigned, charged with graft and released on a 15 million cashbail. But the biggest tackle against him was being barred from accessing his office.
For one year he has not led the city from his office. Less than three months later, Sonko’s administrative power would be taken away when he signed off the transfer of four key funcitons to the Nairobi metropolitan service.
A chaotic reign it has been for him, often times finding himself on the wrong side of politics, publicly rebuked by President Kenyatta for the feuds, and at times, a warning.
Sonko’s style of leadership saw off the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi who was prevailed upon to resign.
Elachi had been criticising Sonko’s leadership terming him the biggest stumbling block to the success of NMS.
With Elachi out, Benson Mutura a former Nairobi MP was elected speaker, and previous house leadership that had previously fallen out with Elachi reinstated.
But Sonko’s style remained consistent, culminating in his impeachment earlier this month as he marked his first year of trouble.
And while the Governor has made his case before the senators, he needs at least 24 senators to vote in his favour, dismiss the grounds of impeachment.
After the death of Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka, the house now has 66 senators, some of them indisposed as they nurse different illnesses.
But it will take 46 county delegations to vote, representing the 46 counties with an elected senator. Should the senators either unanimously or by majority vote against Sonko’s impeachment, then he continues to serve as governor.
The grounds of impeachment however could still be revisitied after three months; but should the senate vote to impeach Sonko, then his political career takes a hit.
When Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was removed from office by the Senate, the decision was gazetted in the night, with a transition plan put in place by morning.
According to the constitution when a governor is impeached, the deputy should take over but Nairobi has had no deputy governor since January 2018.
Article 182 of the constitution requires that the County Speaker Benson Mutura in this case takes over as acting governor for up to two months.
During the 60 days, IEBC must conduct an election to choose the city’s new governor and deputy.
A time that interested persons would fight it out for nomination under different political parties or as independent candidates.