Kenya: Sonko Impeachment – Daughter Spent Sh4.6mn in New York Trip

Nairobi — The Senate on Wednesday heard of how the daughter of embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Agnes Saumu, spent Sh4.6 million in an illegal trip to New York while disguised as a Ward Administrator.

Nairobi County Assembly Minority Leader Michael Oguda, who took the stand as the first witness in the Governor’s impeachment trial submitted that Sonko used county funds to sponsor his daughter’s trip to attend the County First Lady’s Conference, held during the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018.

“That was an absolute abuse of office from the onset from the part of the Governor,” he said and cited the Governor of violating Article 75 of the Constitution as read together with Section 16 of the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012.

During the period, Ogada said Sonko’s daughter was treated to a lavish lifestyle on second to a state dignitary, including a Sh220,000 chopper ride to tour New York city.

In defending the impeachment motion, Ogada revealed to the Senate how the flamboyant Governor had persistently intimidated, harassed and molested officers of the County Executive, including blackmailing his County Executive Committee (CEC) Members and Chief Officers.

“He gave them one-year contracts, whose renewal he undertook arbitrarily, leaving the officers jittery about their employment and creating a climate of fear, uncertainty and despondency,” he said.

Ogada, who authored the ouster motion, also faulted Sonko for initiating the deed of transfer that saw him surrender some of his key functions to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) in what he described as “lack of leadership.

He revealed that since Governor Sonko took office in 2017, the Finance docket alone has had 10 CECs and 8 Chief Officers.

Sonko was set to defend himself Thursday against accusations levelled against him.

“The Governor has violated Article 73 of the Constitution and Section 8 and 11 on the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012 on public trust and professionalism, where he is on record admitting that he was intoxicated and thus not in the right frame of mind when he signed the Deed of Transfer for the transfer of certain functions of the county to the national government in February 2020.,” he said adding that Governor Sonko’s admission had brought disrepute, ridicule, hatred and contempt to the Office of the President and of the Governor.

If a majority of Senators vote to uphold any impeachment charge, the governor shall cease to hold office.

If a vote in the Senate, however, fails to result in the removal of Governor Sonko, Speaker Lusaka shall notify the Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly accordingly and the motion by the assembly for the removal of the Governor on the same charges may only be re-introduced to the Senate after the expiry of three months.

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