Nairobi leaders, Governor Mike Sonko and Senator Johnson Sakaja, on Wednesday locked horns over the lack of a Deputy Governor.
Appearing before the Senate’s Devolution Committee, Sonko said he was shocked that his friend Sakaja brought up the matter before the hearing committee.
“Even the other day he sent me a picture that we took some two years ago. So I am shocked that Senator Sakaja is bringing this matter to this committee,” said Sonko.
According to Sonko, the deputy governor position was a non-issue that did not need the attention of the Senate.
“There was no need of calling senators to come and deal with this non-issue. I have shown goodwill by nominating Miguna.. this is not a serious issue.”
“The senator would have summoned me to ask me these issues instead of petitioning the Senate. So this is a none issue,” said Sonko.
On his part, Sakaja asked the chair, Laikipia Senator John Kinyua, to give him time to respond to Sonko on the issue of their friendship.
“It is true that Sonko is my friend and that I sent him the pictures that we took during the campaigns two years ago. Chair the pictures were just a TBT,” he explained.
The Nairobi Senator stated that whatever he raised on the floor in regards to the deputy position was not related to his friendship with Sonko.
But Sonko retorted that Sakaja only brought the deputy governor issue to the committee because he has his eyes on the Nairobi Governor seat.
“It is true that I wanted to be the governor it is true that he(Sakaja) also wants to be the governor but he is playing his cards wrong…” Sonko said.
But Sakaja objected Sonko’s claims saying he was only doing his job as Senator.
“…that statement needs to be withdrawn. I have never declared anywhere that I want to be the governor of Nairobi. In any case, I am a Kenyan and if I want to vie I am free to do so. “In any public record, I have never made that declaration… I am looking at issues objectively as the senator of Nairobi and I will continue to exercise my mandate,” said Sakaja.
Sonko further asked Sakaja to investigate facts before making allegations.
“Get your facts right before you raise your allegations.. when I was the senator of Nairobi when similar matters were raised I would investigate and come with facts..and made sure that I had sufficient evidence,” he said.
The County Chief explained that he was prepared to name a deputy last December but failed after he received two letters from NASA chiefs urging him to appoint their preferred persons in the spirit of the handshake.
“I’m still consulting because this is an emotive issue. Furthermore, there is no law that allows me to appoint a deputy,” he said.
Sonko said the Supreme Advisory issued in March last year giving governors 14 days to appoint a deputy in case of a vacancy, was not binding and, therefore, he has not violated any law by not appointing a deputy.
The seat has remained vacant for more than 15 months since Polycarp Igathe resigned.