I’m tired of being disrespected, says Passaris as she blasts Sonko
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris has come out to fiercely defend herself from controversial allegations leveled against her by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko over the past one week.
Speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Monday morning after returning from a trip to Canada, Passaris accused Sonko of lying on various issues among them that she claimed double per diem from the county government and Parliament.
Passaris challenged Sonko to present evidence backing his claims to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), even as she indicated plans to seek legal action against the governor.
“None of the accusations or insinuations leveled against me are true. And as we move along, after I have consulted with my lawyers and various government agencies, this time I am not letting go,” said Passaris.
“I would like the governor to present evidence to EACC that I have claimed per diem twice. In the meantime, I shall go see my clerk and speaker to confirm that I have never claimed per diem for CSW 2018 (Commission on the Status of Women) in New York from the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) as the governor was claiming.”
The Nairobi woman representative further termed as “disgraceful and degrading” of Sonko to claim she had invited him to her room at the Intercontinental Hotel, saying she is fed up of being disrespected through falsehoods.
“I waive all rights to privacy. I would love that hotel where I stayed to access my private data, show when I stayed there. I will not let this go.
“It is disgraceful and degrading. For me I am not letting this go. This is the last time somebody questions my integrity with falsehoods,” said Passaris.
She added: “It pains me to call him the governor, but I give the respect of the office, not the person.”
The recent public spat between Sonko and Passaris began on Madaraka Day at Pumwani Secondary School after the woman representative urged the governor to unite political leaders in Nairobi even as she seemingly questioned Sonko’s use of money.
“If we want to eradicate poverty in Kenya, we must deal with corruption… And we cannot curb corruption when as leaders we are dishing out money whose source cannot be authenticated,” said Passaris.
However, it is Sonko’s unexpected response that set off a storm that saw Passaris walk out as the governor made his address.
“Umecomplian ati simu zako sishiki… Mimi si bwana yako niwe nashika simu zako wakati unataka,” Sonko said, a comment Passaris now says was uncalled for.
Speaking at JKIA on Monday, Passaris said: “The governor’s communications skills obviously require a lot of work but on that particular issue… No where in my speech did i mention that he is not picking my calls so I don’t know where he came up with that.”
After the Madaraka Day clash between the two leaders, Sonko embarked on unleashing phone call recordings and text messages showing his conversations with Passaris in what is claimed was a move to show they enjoy a cordial working relationship.
Despite the sharp criticism and condemnation that has followed Sonko for berating Passaris, he insists he has no reason to apologise.