President Uhuru Kenyatta has, for the first time, publicly addressed the fallout between him and impeached Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in a radio interview.
The Head of State has admitted that he instigated Sonko’s removal from office because the former county boss had become synonymous with incessant wrangles with everyone, adding that everything in Nairobi had ground to a halt at some point because of his leadership style.
He added that he had helped the former governor clinch the key seat but that, instead, he was “up and about doing nothing”.
In an interview that aired across several Kikuyu language radio stations on Monday, he also praised Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director General Mohammed Badi – who was recently also on a warpath with Sonko – saying he had shown Nairobians that government can deliver if spearheaded by committed leadership.
“NMS will be opening 17 hospitals in Nairobi in the coming weeks,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Sonko went on a social media tirade on Monday as the strained relationship between him and Mr Kenyatta continued to play out in public.
In a tweet that is now deleted, Sonko used a derogatory term to refer to the president, leaving many social media users shocked.
He was responding to an interview by retired Chief Justice David Maraga that aired on a local media outlet, where the former CJ suggested Mr Kenyatta should have been impeached for failing to uphold the Constitution by refusing to appoint 41 judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission.
Mr Sonko was agreeing with CJ Maraga on his sentiments but expressed it using an insult.
Following public backlash, Mr Sonko later deleted the tweet and replaced it with another one saying: “This is the right guy to be impeached,” suggesting that his own ouster was unjustified.
The two were once bosom buddies but fell out some time last year leading to the former City Hall boss’ unceremonious removal from office in December.
Mr Sonko was impeached in December after 88 Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) voted in support of a censure motion against him for abuse of office among other charges.
The ouster came after two unsuccessful attempts by the MCAs against him.
Mr Sonko later moved to court to stop the poll body IEBC from conducting a by-election in the city to replace him, Claiming that his removal was highly politicised and the process overturned the popular will of the people as contained in Article 1(1) of the Constitution.
The former governor also argues that senators voted for his removal without confirming whether the impeachment motion was procedural and supported by evidence.
He also argued that senators voted for the charges levelled against him by MCAs without any evaluation of the evidence placed before the Senate.