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Mike Sonko’s bodyguards, bling and big attitude

He is known as one of Kenya’s most dramatic politician; full of showmanship and theatrics.

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko’s bodyguards display their weapons at the Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi on Tuesday. He had gone  there as part of a delegation that was picking up the body of the mother of former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua. The bodyguards have in the past been accused of harassing motorists.
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko’s bodyguards display their weapons at the Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi.

On Tuesday morning, Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi alias Sonko was sin his element. He arrived at Lee Funeral Home in full bravado; a black chase car with a blaring siren, a black Hummer full of his security detail and a shiny golden SUV carrying the “Prince of Nairobi”.

The Senator was part of mourners who had come to collect the body of the mother of former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua.

Soon after he arrived, a legion of his orderlies some with black t-shirts emblazoned “Team Sonko” and some armed with high calibre rifles leapt out of the vehicles to clear the way as Sonko walked towards the mortuary office.

A small curious crowd gathered outside the morgue to watch the spectacle unfold.

Journalists who were at the mortuary awaiting postmortem results for the body of the late Fidel Odinga clicked away.

He left just two minutes after his arrival on realising that the funeral entourage had already left.

But his brief embellished arrival under such security detail which rivalled that of the President or top government officials left tongues wagging.

A former police officer said it is wrong for police officers to display their weapons in public if they are not in uniform.

“The policy is that big rifles must only be displayed when one is in police uniform but concealed when one is in civilian clothes,” he said.

Kenya Police spokeswoman Gatiria Mboroki could not be reached for comment on why the senator drives with a siren sometimes edging others out of the road.

She did not answer our phones either to say if officers guarding politicians are supposed to expose their guns in public when there is no harm to the politicians.

But a large part of Sonko’s life involves showing off his wealth and power, and he is never shy to put on his display bling-bling, limousines, motorcades and armed bodyguards.

His shows of might in Nairobi, where he will often drive on the wrong side of the road bullying other motorists with his two or three chase cars with a blaring sirens, have earned him notoriety.

He is always flanked by armed “security men” who harass motorists out of the roads.

They have been reports that they occasionally brandish guns at motorist who decline to budge, leaving the poor road users shaken. Whether you like him or not, you can hardly ignore this man