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Details of alleged multi-million plot to save Sonko from impeachment

"His plans failed. He wanted to travel with them" Minority Leader

File image of Mike Sonkko

Details have emerged of an alleged plot to save embattled Nairobi governor Mike Sonko that would have seen millions go to waste but which was scuttled by the courts on Friday.

Nation reports that an elaborate plan had been hatched to fly out 32 Nairobi members of county assembly (MCAs)and members of the County Executive Committee (CEC) to Abu Dhabi under the guise of attending a UN-Habitat conference for 6 days between 7 Feb to 13 Feb 2020.

According to the publication, the 32 individuals were set to smile all the way to the bank with each set to receive Sh53,500 ($535) per night as per diem and an additional ground transport allowance of Sh30,000 for their troubles in a trip whose benefit to city residents remains controversial.

A letter seen by the Nation and signed by County Assembly Clerk Monica Muthami requests the Nairobi County Secretary for facilitation of living and transport expenses of the entourage for the suspect mission.

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“The Nairobi County Assembly would like to request the County Executive to finance the delegation to attend this important meeting. The duration of the visit will be six days. We are requesting the County Executive to cater for all the living and transport expenses during the period,” reads the letter in part.

“This is, therefore, to kindly request your office to facilitate the members and staff to enable them to travel to Dubai,” Adds the letter.

The timing itself raised eyebrows as it was set to coincide with the return of official sittings of Nairobi County Assembly next week when Minority Chief Whip Peter Imwatok bring forth an impeachment motion against Mr Sonko.

It is not clear who invited the delegation as an invitation letter sent to the Nairobi County Health executive Hitan Majevdia by UN-Habitat Executive-Director Maimunah Sharif does not mention any invitation to the MCAs.

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Interestingly, this is not the first time that the script is playing, with the same characters as most of the MCAs on the list were part of the aborted trip to the same country last December.

In December 2019, 18 ward reps were scheduled to fly out to Dubai for 11 days, between December 19-29 at a time when ODM was calling for a special sitting of the assembly during which a motion to impeach the governor would have been tabled.

Divide and rule

It is suspected that the trips are tactfully planned to coincide assembly sittings whenever the possibility of tabling a motion to impeach the embattled governor so as to ensure that the quorum is not met.

Ms Muthami has since denied knowledge of the letter, adding that “whoever has written that letter has forged my signature. I am aware there is a conference in Abu Dhabi but I am not aware of any member who is traveling”.

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Both the Majority Leader Charles Thuo and his Minority counterpart David Mberia read malice in the plot with Mberis alleging that the governor has resorted to divide and rule tactics to save himself from what befell former Kiambu governor, Ferdinand Waititu.

“He is trying the divide-and-rule thing. He had tried to come up with a list thinking the court would allow him to travel but the court denied him the passport. After the court denied him the passport, his plans failed. He wanted to travel with them,” Mberia said.

“I saw the list on social media, and when I contacted the clerk she told me the list did not come from her office. I had not given out any names. If it was real then someone was hiding it from me,” added Thuo.

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