The decision followed two-day proceedings with Sonko being accused of gross misconduct, violation of the constitution, crimes under national law, and abuse of office. Senators voted on each allegation fronted against Sonko.
27 voted Yes, 16 voted No and two abstained (Makueni’s Mutula Kilonzo and Nairobi’s Johnson Sakaja) on all charges.
The row between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto surfaced during the voting process. Allies aligned to Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga voted to uphold the motion while those who are purported to be neutral teamed with DP Ruto’s camp to overturn the motion.
Senators upheld the decision made by MCAs to impeach Sonko on Thursday, December 3. 88 lawmakers had voted in favour of the governor’s ouster.
In the Senate, his lawyers and the Governor himself responded to all the charges, especially embezzlement of funds. Sonko defended his daughter Saumu Mbuvi against allegations that he funded her a trip worth Ksh 4.6 million to New York in the US.
He also denied frustrating the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) under General Mohamed Badi. Sonko explained that his decision to decline signing the Ksh37.5 billion budget which had handed over Ksh 27 billion to NMS owed to the lack of appropriate regulations.
“I met President Uhuru Kenyatta and he promised to help me handle these issues. I told him that he is being misled. However, he never told me that the General was going to take over the functions I handed over.
“These people want us to break the law. The Treasury was aware of the delay in the release of funds as there were no regulations providing for the transfer of funds. The Treasury was aware of the delay in the release of funds as there were no regulations providing for the transfer of funds,” he defended.
However, County Assembly lawyers led by attorneys Ndegwa Njiru and Wilfred Nyamu argued that Sonko diverted Ksh 279 million bursary funds to pay lawyers and garbage collectors. Sonko argued stating that the alleged funds were not used.
“These funds were not released and that they are intact. Schools were closed during Covid-19 and this document shows that the mover of my motion exaggerated his claims. Some MCAs opened fake education accounts since 2013 and 2017 and I unearthed this scandal in 2017 and stopped it.
“The directors of these fake schools were wives and relatives of MCAs. They were receiving cheques from CDF accounts of various constituencies. The matter is being looked into by investigative agencies,” he defended.
Some of the Senators had openly questioned the impeachment motion. Kitui Senator Wambua Enoch opined that MCAs wanted Sonko impeached for dancing and entertaining himself.
Nairobi County Speaker Benson Mutura will take over for 90 days before a by-election is conducted. Mutura is expected to work in tandem with NMS and aid President Uhuru Kenyatta in securing his legacy.