Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has been impeached.
Sonko was removed from office on Thursday night after senators voted to uphold his impeachment by Nairobi MCAs.
Some 27 legislators voted in favour of each of the charges thus surpassing the Constitutional threshold of 24 votes needed to remove the governor from office.
The Senators voted on 11 charges related to gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office, gross misconduct and crimes under national law against the governor.
In the first charge of gross violation of the constitution, 27 Senators voted for his removal while 16 voted against. In the second charge of abuse of office 27 voted for while 16 voted against. On the third charge of gross misconduct, 27 voted yes and 16 voted no. And, in the fourth charge of crimes under national law, 27 voted yes and 16 no.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr and his Nairobi counterpart Johnson Sakaja abstained from the vote.
Sonko’s impeachment implies that Nairobi assembly speaker Benson Mutura will assume the office of the governor in an acting capacity, pending a by-election in 60 days.
Sonko has been running the county government without a deputy after Polycarp Igathe resigns in January 2018.
Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura concurred with the charges declaring that “Governor Sonko should not have been voted to the office in the first place.” Mwaura said the evidence against the governor on abuse of office was satisfactory.
However, Senator Murkomen, who opposed the motion faulted the motive of the move arguing the trend would jeopardise devolution.
“This house must rise to the occasion to defend devolution…This house must rise to demonstrate that they have consistency… I beg to oppose.”
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina defended Governor Sonko saying most of the charges were not adding up due to insufficient evidence. In this view, he said the motion lacked the merit.
Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika argued that the tussle was about Governor Sonko and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) which enjoyed the state-backing, hence, the governor should not be kicked out because of that.
“We know that Governor Sonko is flamboyant and we want to force him to wear suits and sign papers to give kickbacks,” Kihika said.
Kitui Senator Enock Wambua, said the assembly was merely impeaching the governor dancing ”parte after parte” song.