Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has revealed how he evaded arrest when three of his colleagues were seized and taken on whirlwind trips to their counties at the height of the stalemate on the third basis for sharing of revenue among counties.
Three senators were arrested on the same day in Nairobi over unclear reasons and taken to police stations hundreds of kilometers from the capital city but they were never charged in court.
Speaking in an interview on Milele FM on Tuesday, Sakaja revealed he was set to be arrested alongside the three, Bomet’s Christopher Langat, Samburu’s Steve Lelengwe, and Kakamega’s Cleophas Malala.
“I saw a white Isuzu D-Max trailing me and I had to instruct my driver and personal assistant (PA) to take another route. I gave my phone and belongings to the PA and then alighted from the car. I put my mask and cap on and walked for 30 minutes to get a place to sleep that day,” said Sakaja.
The incident, the Nairobi senator said, occurred on Dennis Pritt Road in Nairobi’s Kilimani area where he resides.
The arrest, he said, was designed to prevent them from participating in the debate on revenue-sharing that saw senators split nearly down the middle, with many opposed to the idea of shaving off cash from some counties as recommended by the Commission on Revenue Allocation.
Sakaja said that some of his colleagues were surprised when they saw him following the Senate proceedings via a Zoom call since they ‘knew’ he had been arrested.
“My brother senator was called in a hotel and offered Sh7 million to leave Team Kenya and not to attend the Senate sitting that day. Those people went to the Senate and found Samburu senator in attendance and were astounded on seeing him,” said Sakaja.
The Nairobi senator claimed that Lelengwe’s dramatic arrest was linked to his refusal to accept the Sh7 million offer.
The group dubbed Team Kenya included senators who were opposed to some counties losing revenue allocation in the third-basis for the division of county funds.
They included Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina, Makueni’s Mutula Kilonzo Jr., and Sakaja.
“I was not offered any money. I had no business with that money and they told me they would punish me,” Sakaja said. “Before all these problems started, I had made a mistake and I apologized for my mistakes,” he added.
As a result of his hard stance on the revenue sharing formula, Sakaja said Nairobi County ended up getting a better deal.