Sonko: State let me down in war on graft

Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko has defended his tenure in the senate, projecting himself as a legislator who did a lot of oversight but was let down by state agencies charged with fighting graft.

Mr Sonko, who is the Jubilee party candidate in the Nairobi gubernatorial race, said on Wednesday that he had done his best to expose corruption at the Nairobi City County government but the anti-corruption authorities and the public prosecutor had failed to act on his reports.

“I did my investigations as Senator for Nairobi County on what was going on and passed all the information I gathered to the investigators but nothing has been done,” he said.

Mr Sonko claimed that he had repossessed land grabbed by powerful cartels at City Hall to the tune of Sh27 billion and reverted such land to their rightful owners.

Some of the lands he claimed to have recovered include the PCEA Church in Karen, the Karen Market, Ngara Market and public land belonging to Kamukunji Secondary, Lang’ata High and Lavington Primary school.

EXPOSE ROT

The senator spoke on Wednesday when he launched a report titled ‘The Problems of Nairobi County: Chronicle of Mismanaged City.’

(Download document here.)

The report, prepared by his team with the aim of exposing the rot in the city under the Governor Evans Kidero’s administration, highlights the rot in the city and details how the county government “took the Nairobi residents to the cleaners”.

The report is meant to provide a roadmap for Mr Sonko’s manifesto which will be launched next week.

It touches on irregular and illegal human resources practices, reckless management of public land and the never ending garbage scandal. It is based on the findings of Controller of Budget, the auditor general and other official reports.

On several occasions Governor Kidero has accused the senator of an underwhelming performance in the House, accusing him of failing to protect the interests of the people of Nairobi as required by law.

DID LITTLE

Dr Kidero is particularly piqued by the inability of the senator to prosecute the issue of the Sh72 billion the national government owes the county in property rate arrears, which the governor says has affected City Hall operations.

During a TV debate of the candidates on Monday, Independent candidate Peter Kenneth railed at both the senator and governor, accusing them of having failed in their mandate to serve and ensure services are delivered to the city residents.

Mr Kenneth singled out the senator saying he had failed to provide the necessary oversight to ensure the county funds are not misused and that he had not sponsored a single Bill during his tenure as senator.

But armed with letters and other documents, Mr Sonko sought to defend himself, painting an image of a man who had done everything, but was let down by the bureaucracies that he has “no control over”.

FRUSTRATED

He gave a blow by blow account of his four and half years as senator, provided documents and concluded that he had done his best in fighting corruption, land grabbing, cartels and misuse of funds at the county government.

“I have all the evidence of the under dealings at City Hall. I have written to the EACC and even raised complaints with lawyer Tom Ojienda but I have never received a response. I am frustrated just like everyone else but it is not for me to convict the suspects,” he said.

He placed the problems bedevilling the city at Governor Kidero’s doorstep, claiming the Governor had imported cartels from Mumias Sugar — where he served as CEO — who were fleecing the county through chasing all manner of shady tenders.

If elected governor, Mr Sonko promised to review the county government electronic revenue system arguing that the system was “extortionist” and was irregularly acquired as it was neither accountable nor verifiable and is prone to manipulation.

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