Secret details have now emerged over the aborted trip by Nairobi governor Mike Sonko to take a number of the county assembly members to United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a UN-Habitat conference.
According to a report published by Daily Nation on Sunday, February 9, some 32 MCAs were supposed to accompany Sonko for the trip before a court’s ruling halted the plans.
They were reportedly set to attend the UAE Conference on Sustainable Urban Development and Human Settlement which, according to the publication, was a secret plan to have the ward representatives outside the country between February 7-13.
However, what raised eyebrows was the timing of the trip and the high number of MCAs supposed to attend the conference. The fact that the MCAs were not invited to the conference, whose focus is on finance, housing, urban development, culture, national heritage, innovation, science, information and technology, raised more questions than answers.
According to Daily Nation, the trip was made to coincide with the return of official sittings of Nairobi County Assembly after a two-month recess, which was expected to put Governor Sonko on the spotlight again as calls for his impeachment grow louder.
Reports indicate that some of the members on the trip are 10 opposition MCAs, all allied to the governor, and 12 from the Jubilee Party.
In addition, most of the MCAs on the list were also part of the aborted trip to the same country last December.
Then, 18 ward reps were scheduled to fly out to Dubai for 11 days, between December 19-29 which was around the same time ODM party members were calling for a special sitting of the assembly, during which a motion to impeach the governor would have been tabled.
This comes days after Minority Chief Whip Peter Imwatok, last week, vowed to bring forth an impeachment motion against Sonko when the assembly resume next week.
The embattled governor is facing a looming impeachment after an ouster motion was proposed following his arrest in December over graft allegations.
“We have enough numbers to put forward a notice of motion and also to send Sonko home. If that is the issue, then I am sorry for him because I have to do my job under the Constitution. We are determined that once the assembly resumes, the governor has to be accountable to the people of Nairobi, and especially on Chapter Six of the Constitution. We are not going to relent on this,” Imwatok was quoted by the publication.
Reports indicate that each member of the travelling delegation would receive Ksh 53,000 every day as per diem for the seven days, transport allowance of Ksh 30,000 each and paid air ticket which may range from Ksh 70,000 – Ksh 120,000.
On Thursday, Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti ruled that giving Sonko back his passport to travel to UAE will be like reviewing his own orders.
Ogoti further ruled that the letters of recommendation that were relied upon by the governor defense team did not show whether he was traveling on official duty.