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Sonko gets backing from frenemy Babu Owino over planned impeachment

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has gotten the unlikely support of his one-time nemesis Embakasi East MP Babu Owino over a planned impeachment motion by Nairobi County Assembly.

Owino is among a section of Nairobi leaders who have publicly dismissed the planned motion against the Governor, instead calling on those behind the plot to wait until 2022 to challenge the City Hall boss in the ballot.

“I am calling on Nairobi MCAs to drop their threats against Sonko. The governor can work and sleep anywhere within the country. Let us avoid politics until 2022 and give room for him to deliver on his promises,” Owino said.

Sonko and Owino were once sworn enemies and their hostility reached an all-time high in September 2017 when the MP was captured on camera making utterance that were perceived to be an insult to the President’s family.

LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP

Even after Owino was arrested, held in police custody for days and flung before a court of law over charges of subversion, still, Sonko took the matter very personally.

He not only responded by calling the MP unprintable names in a public rant but also appeared to issue open threats to Owino. The two have since kissed and made up and all that seems to be water under the bridge now.

Sonko has also gotten the backing of Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe and Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris who have urged the ward representatives to drop their threats against the governor and focus on service delivery to Nairobi residents.

The three were part of over 30 current and former legislators from Nairobi and the larger Ukambani region who attended the third anniversary of Governor Sonko’s late father Gideon Kioko Mbuvi Kivanguli at Mua Hills, Machakos County over the weekend.

IMPENDING CENSURE

A section of Nairobi MCAs, led by the Assembly deputy speaker John Kamangu and majority whip Chege Mwaura, have similarly downplayed the threats of the impending censure motion.

Mr Kamangu said the Assembly is not interested anymore with the 14-day notice issued to Sonko since they enjoy a cordial working relation with the governor.

On Thursday, the county legislators gave the governor two weeks to return to Nairobi and run affairs of City Hall at his office or face a censure motion.

Meanwhile, Sonko has issued a directive to stop demolition of structures belonging to small scale traders until modern stalls are built for them by the county and national governments.

The City Hall boss promised that modern stalls will be established for traders who are currently operating in illegal structures.