Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has defended himself against reports that he routinely punctuates serious meetings at City Hall with alcohol drinking sessions.
Our sister publication Sunday Nation published details of Governor Sonko’s freewheeling ways at City Hall that include copious consumption of alcohol at work.
“From 10 am, most of his meetings are punctuated with glasses of Cognac, his favourite brand. And, being a master of camouflage, next to the glass is always a package of apple juice. You can hardly tell he is in fact enjoying his whisky unless you’re an insider,” the report said.
Occasionally, a number of Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) join in for a drink as the day wears on.
“What got me worried when I started working for him is the idea of drinking in the office. Yet interestingly, his confidence level increases and the tone changes once he has taken considerable amounts of the drink,” a senior officer is quoted.
On Sunday evening, Sonko denied taking alcohol during working hours.
“The claim that I drink alcohol in meetings and throughout the day is an outright lie, and it will be upon the Sunday Nation to prove this in court,” Sonko said in a statement.
He also defended his lack of a diary and random meetings that clash with pre-planned ones, saying his focus is to serve Nairobians.
“If I am due to meet an ambassador as reported in the story, and a meeting I have with slum dwellers overruns in terms of time, is that a crisis? Is a Nairobi slum dweller less important than an ambassador? The other claims of making phone calls in the middle of official meetings to give M-Pesa instructions, or failing to listen to my officers, are all bald allegations peddled by the Sunday Nation team,” he stated.
Sonko blamed City Hall staff he inherited from Evans Kidero’s administration for his woes at City Hall.
“Even this latest story in the Sunday Nation was actively peddled by an officer in my office that I had given a chance, despite being closely associated with the same people who stood in church pulpits to campaign for my election opponents.
“I accepted these people because I pledged to form an all inclusive government,” he stated.
Sonko cited the case of his now sacked Finance chief executive Danvas Makori, saying how he was recommended to him by nominated MP Maina Kamanda but ended up disappointing him.
“The subsequent decision to sack one of my CECMs, Danvas Makori, was necessitated by information I obtained, and which he admitted to, that he was in constant communication with people associated with my predecessor who have been sponsoring negative publicity against me.
“It would have been a grave error of omission if I had failed to take a firm action even after these facts came to light. Makori had been referred to me by his father-in-law, Hon. Maina Kamanda, and after assessing his academic qualifications and skills, I accepted to nominate him, even though he had held a senior position in my predecessor’s office,” he wrote.