Last year, Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko was invited to give a key note address in Dubai at an African Investment forum. As usual, the flamboyant Governor assembled his itinerary that included his County Secretary, CEC’s for Finance, Trade, several MCAs and political advisors.
The forum organized by a Dubai based Real Estate Congregate had attracted leaders of major cities from across the world and Sonko’s recognition as the key note speaker had been guaranteed by President Kenyatta’s charm offensive tours of USA and Europe.
Going by the nature of this visit, Mike Sonko was accorded a state reception upon arrival; red carpet, security, a motorcade with outriders and his entire entourage accommodated at an exclusive hotel. Unknown to the organizers, they had picked a streetwise drunkard for an important symposium.
For the first three days, Sonko was completely intoxicated. He cancelled important meetings with delegations from other countries who had sort to meet him at his hotel.
Then came the D-day for the key note address that was to take place 10am in the morning. His aides had prepared his speech, and everything was on course until 9am when his aide entered his hotel room only to meet an intoxicated Sonko in robes. All this time, a limousine with an elaborate security detail had been waiting outside the hotel.
At exactly 9:30am, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum arrived to listen to Mike Sonko give his speech. This threw the organizers into a panic as the chief guest was supposed to be seated ahead of Sheikh Mohammed. In a nutshell, Sonko never attended the forum nor were any of his aides prepared to represent him. Dubai authorities would hours later withdraw his security, before ordering his trip cancelled prematurely.
His love for whisky and women had cost Nairobi County an opportunity to attract investors and probably earn the city billions of shillings in the anticipated foreign investor pact. That is Mike Sonko for you. His inferiority complex has taken toll on him. Like a deer on the run, Sonko is a restless soul fighting imaginary forces all created in his mind.
The rot in Pumwani and Mbagathi Hospitals epitomizes Sonko’s inept leadership that has left the capital in a more deplorable state than Kidero left it.
Sonko is never alone in his brinkmanship, Simon Mbugua – his unofficial deputy governor, is his partner in crime and key architect of the parallel tax collection loopholes that Sonko uses to siphon millions of shillings daily. According to the auditor general, revenue collection in Nairobi has nose-dived despite traders continued remittance.
Despite President Uhuru’s intervention through the Nairobi Regeneration Committee, Sonko has remained defiant, blackmailing friends and foes alike.
Last year, in his usual play to the gallery, Sonko exposed the owner of Grand Manor Hotel in Gigiri in what he termed as an attempt to bribe him. It was to later emerge that Sonko had indeed attempted to arm-twist the investor into surrendering 50% shares of the company that owned the Hotel.
With three more years to go, City Hall circus is not ending anytime soon.
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