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Mike Sonko has no unfinished jail term, says Kalembe Ndile

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STEPHEN MUTHINI

By STEPHEN MUTHINI
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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has no unfinished jail term as his sentence was quashed by the High Court, his allies have said, citing a court document.

Led by former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile, they said that if Mr Sonko had a sentence to finish, the entire team at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) should leave office for clearing him to vie in three elections without proper background checks.

Speaking in Machakos on Sunday, Mr Ndile and Youth Leader Mumo Makundi said the late justice Samuel Oguk quashed the prison term.

The youth leader showed the Nation documents to that effect.

Prison records forwarded to the EACC indicate that on March 12, 1998, Mr Sonko, aka Mbuvi Gideon Kioko, was convicted of failing to attend court in CF 675/97 and was sentenced to pay a Sh200,000 fine or serve six months in prison in default. He did not raise the fine and was committed to Shimo la Tewa to serve his custodial sentence.

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On the same day, Mr Sonko was sentenced to pay Sh500,000 or in default serve six months in prison for failing to appear for previous hearings in CF 1727/96. He was to serve both sentences concurrently for 12 months.

More than two years later, on November 15, 2000, the officer in charge of Industrial Area Remand Prison sent a signal to Shimo la Tewa that one Mbuvi Gideon Kioko had been remanded awaiting other criminal offences.

But Shimo la Tewa Maximum Security Prison says in court documents that he needs to be charged with escaping from prison and serve his remaining sentence.

Mr Ndile and Mr Makundi claimed the governor’s tribulations were witch-hunt driven by the 2022 succession politics.

“The EACC is telling the public that Shimo la Tewa Prison wants Sonko to serve the remaining sentences in criminal cases 1727 of 1996 and 675 of 1997, of six months each, for failing to attend court,” Mr Makundi said.

“They’re not telling Kenyans that the same Magistrate Court sentences were quashed and reduced by the High Court to the period already served from November 15, 2000 to February 12, 2001, vide High court appeal no. 80 of 2001.”

The documents Mr Ndile and Mr Makundi presented are part of the EACC affidavit by Emmah Ibeere, dated November 20, 2019.

They address the issue of Gideon Mbuvi Kioko’s escape from Shimo la Tewa on April 16, 1998.

The affidavit says he was remanded to Industrial Area Prison on November 15, 2000 and that the officer in charge then sent a signal to Shimo la Tewa, confirming the identity of the remandee as their prisoner.

Subsequently, Gideon Mbuvi Kioko ceased to be a remandee and according to the EACC, he was considered a dangerous prisoner and transferred to Kamiti Maximum Prison as prisoner No. KAM/1255/001s.

Eventually, as contained in the EACC Affidavit, Gideon Mbuvi Kioko was released by the High Court after his sentence was reduced to the period already served, beginning from March 12, 1998 to April 16, 1998 and from November 15, 2000 to February 12, 2001.

The total amount of time in question is 124 days, or four months and four days.

Mr Makundi dismissed the allegations that Mr Sonko lied while filing forms for clearance by the EACC and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

“In view of this, what is wrong with same Gideon Kioko Mbuvi replying ‘no’ to the question ‘Have you ever been convicted of any offence and sentenced to serve imprisonment for a period of at least six months?”

He said that when Justice Oguk reduced the sentence to what had already been served, he was aware Gideon Mbuvi Kioko was serving in Kamiti the prison term he was to serve at Shimo la Tewa.

H said the judge all the facts in mind, that is, the prison term he was reducing was the one given in the 2 cases CF 1727 of 1996 and CF 675 of 1997.

Mr Ndile supported the position and said the EACC should answer the questions Mr Sonko raised concerning the integrity of one of its officers and stop digging into issues that were already resolved “in a bid to divert attention”.

“If we continue this way we will be heading back to the dark days when leaders used to be silenced using fictitious cases brought by the State,” he said.

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