Senator Mike Sonko
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko has dismissed claims that he is broke despite scaling down his activities. The flamboyant politician has not held a high-profile rally or any roadshows in the last two weeks due to what insiders say is a cash-starved campaign for the governor’s seat.
And it is not just the senator who is affected but his entire Nairobi team, which includes Johnson Sakaja (Senate candidate) and Rachel Shebesh (Woman Rep) who have been missing in action as campaigns heighten.
This is in sharp contrast to his main rival, Governor Evans Kidero, who has been combing several parts of the county holding key events daily. Meanwhile, the Jubilee Party Team Nairobi has only been seen at press conferences.
Sonko’s campaign, reports claim, has been paralysed by what is perceived as infighting within Jubilee, where some of those close to the presidency are unwilling to support his bid as the trademark ‘Sonko for Nairobi Governor’ and ‘Sonko Rescue Team’ branded vehicles disappear from frequent view.
The Senator, who has been operating from a five-star hotel presidential suite that he turned into his secretariat, has not been seen there for the last one week. The place remains locked.
Yesterday, Sonko confirmed scaling down his rallies and roadshows, saying it was more tactical than informed by a shortage of funds.
“Those who think Sonko is broke are in for a rude shock. I have deliberately opted for house-to-house, business-to-business and estate-to-estate campaigns while my running mate Polycarp Igathe meets business and professional groups,” he said.
Sonko insists the new strategy was informed by incidents in which thugs looking to take advantage of his roadshows started harassing the public and stealing from them.
“I want to avoid a situation where criminals sponsored by my rival infiltrated my campaign team and starting mugging, robbing and harassing the public. The only way to avoid that is by conducting a low-profile campaign.”
Mr Sakaja added: “We understand people are used to a certain way of campaigns but we are executing a different strategy that is more granular. The time for those rallies and roadshows will come.”