Highs and Lows of Sonko’s political career

By , K24 Digital
On Sat, 16 Jul, 2022 06:00 | 4 mins read
Mombasa gubernatorial aspirant Mike Sonko. PHOTO/Mike Sonko/Facebook
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO/(Mike Sonko)Facebook

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has had several moments in Kenya's political scene since he ventured into Kenya's politics in 2010.

His political career can be considered controversial owing to several cases in which he has found himself involved.

Despite the woes, he has also had a fair share of success venturing into the game.

Sonko's highs

Sonko rose to political prominence after he won a hotly contested by-election that saw him become the Member of Parliament (MP) of Makadara constituency.

Fast forward to 2013, the outspoken politician vied for the first senate position.

His win saw him beat his arch-rival Bishop Margaret Wanjiru who was seeking the position on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket at the time.

In 2016, the ex-lawmaker announced that he was competing for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat.

Water bowsers belonging to Sonko Rescue Team drive past the dais during the Labour Day Celebrations at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on May 1, 2017.
Water bowsers belonging to Sonko Rescue Team drive past the dais during the Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on May 1, 2017. PHOTO/Courtesy

At the time, Sonko was facing backlash from members of the public after he had launched the Sonko Rescue Team (SRT) during his tenure as a senator.

Quarters challenged the decision, stating that it was challenging the services offered by the county government.

This was because the SRT offered services similar to the county government.

Despite the backlash, Sonko managed to trounce other contenders in the contest, becoming Nairobi's governor.

Sonko's lows

Sonko's deep troubles escalated during his stint as governor.

This was after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) summoned him to shed light on his pending cases and past activities in November 2019.

At the time, the commission had accused him of being convicted in 1997. According to the commission, this was enough to declare him unfit to be in office.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko arrives at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) headquarters in Nairobi on November 5, 2019.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko arrives at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) headquarters in Nairobi on November 5, 2019. PHOTO/Courtesy

Sonko accepted that the allegations were indeed true, defending that Makadara law courts and the EACC had cleared the matter before he contested the Nairobi Senate seat and later governor.

"I have never been convicted. My only offence was failing to attend court. I was sentenced in 1997 to four months and the High Court quashed the same sentence by Justice Oguk and I was released. I vied in 2010 and was cleared to vie in 2013," Sonko said at the time.

"I don't fear accepting that I was in prison because there is no problem with that because Nelson Mandela was in prison. Raila was in prison and many others."

His situation got murkier when the commission further alleged that he was responsible for the loss of over Ksh357 million funds that belonged to the county government.

Sonko is arrested

The Anti-graft agency launched investigations into the case. Sonko's glory became short-lived after the Director of Public Prosecutions ordered his dramatic arrest.

His arrest followed a week after he had filed a petition to court to restrain the commission from prosecuting him temporarily.

In 2020, the flamboyant governor was officially impeached after members of the Senate voted to kick him out of office.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of four charges brought against the governor, which include; gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office, misconduct and crimes against national law.

Sonko vies for Mombasa governor's position

Fast forward to 2022, the outspoken politician announced that she was seeking the Mombasa gubernatorial seat on a Wiper party ticket despite being impeached.

His situation brought a back-and-forth argument among politicians as well as members of the public.

End of Road for Sonko's political career

However, the Supreme court upheld his impeachment on Friday, July 15, 2022.

In the judgment delivered, Apex court judges led by Chief Justice Martha Koome dismissed Sonko's appeal saying the impeachment proceedings before the County Assembly and the Senate were properly conducted.

"Upon consideration, we dismiss the appeal by Sonko for the reasons that the impeachment proceedings before the County Assembly and the Senate were properly conducted in accordance with Article 181 of the Constitution, Section 33 of the County Governments Act and Standing Orders of the Assembly and the Senate," the judges ruled.

"Chapter Six of the Constitution was not enacted in vain or for cosmetic reasons. The authority assigned to a State officer is a public trust to be exercised in a manner that demonstrates respect for the people, brings honour to the nation and dignity to the office, and promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office. It vests in the State officer the responsibility to serve the people, rather than the power to rule them,"

If the ruling is implemented effectively, Sonko can never vie or hold any public office.

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