Nairobi ward representatives on Wednesday said Mr Mike Sonko is “a governor gone rogue”, accusing him of splashing nearly Sh4 million on his daughter’s foreign trip and diverting Sh622 million meant for bursary.
They said using the bursary cash to pay law firms “shows an official who exhibits greed and extravagance when dealing with public resources”.
The ward representatives compared the county boss to Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, who unwittingly provoked unrest that led to the French Revolution and the overthrow of the monarch in August 1792.
“The governor symbolises greed and extravagance,” county assembly lawyer Ndwiga Njiru told the Senate.
“This House should not have mercy on a greedy person. Impeachment is the price of failing to be accountable and transparent.”
The assembly said Mr Sonko is not fit to be governor, adding that he has conducted himself in a manner that is contemptuous of the sovereignty will bestowed him by city voters.
On the first day of the impeachment hearing at the Senate, the representatives presented witnesses who detailed misuse of funds and “revealed” the governor’s criminal past.
Embakasi Ward Representative and Nairobi County Assembly Minority Leader Michael Ogada accused Governor Sonko of misusing conditional grants from Kenya Roads Board and (KRB) Sh622 million meant for bursary.
“Since Mr Sonko became governor three years ago, the fuel levy fund has never been put to good use,” Mr Ogada said as he was led in the examination by his lawyer Duncan Okatch.
Mover of the motion
Mr Ogada was the mover of the motion that impeached Mr Sonko.
He added that as a result of Mr Sonko’s actions, the county government has never received money from KRB.
The representatives said the bursary scheme was started by Mr Evans Kidero when he was governor.
The programme targets bright and orphaned students in Nairobi. Headteachers are asked to pick two bright students from their schools every year. Each learner gets Sh53,000 as annual school fee.
Mr Ogada said Mr Sonko ended the programme.
“Some bright students have consequently dropped out of school,” Mr Ogada said.
He added that Mr Sonko requisitioned the bursary money and received authorisation from the office of the Controller of Budget but ended up paying lawyers.
Mr Ogada mentioned the lawyers as J.O Magolo who received Sh8 million, Mr Abdulahi Gitari (Sh30 million), Musyoka Mogaka Advocates (Sh68 million), Akwanga Mboya Advocates (Sh80 million) and Miller and Co Advocates (Sh83 million).
He said the governor’s daughter made a lavish trip to a conference in the US in 2018.
Senators were told that the governor’s daughter made the trip disguised as an official of the county government. She reportedly flew first class, which cost the taxpayer Sh840,000.
He said Mr Sonko’s daughter was given Sh2.6 million in allowances while another Sh220,000 was used to hire a helicopter to fly her around New York.
Mr Ogada said she was flown to Philadelphia days later, where the Nairobi devolved government paid Sh120,000 to take her around the city’s attraction sites. A similar amount was paid to journalists who covered her trip, he added.
“Some Sh300,000 was used for ground transport when she was in Philadelphia,” he said.