Impeached Nairobi governor Mike Sonko has announced that he is taking a 10-year sabbatical from politics, and is ready to withdraw case challenging Nairobi gubernatorial election.
Speaking on Saturday in Makueni County, Sonko said that “Nairobi is bigger than one person”, urging authorities to allow the by-election to go on instead of vetting his nominee for deputy governor Ann Kananu Mwenda.
“I will stay away from politics for 10 years since people say God’s time is the best. Even when Uhuru failed in 2002 he waited until 2013. Nairobi is bigger than anyone. Because Nairobi is big and it needs a leader, I’m ready to withdraw the case for people to elect their own chosen Governor,” he said.
Sonko was of the opinion that Mwenda was not elected by the people, the reason he withdrew her name to allow for fresh elections.
“It is a must for Nairobi residents to get the Governor they want. Not to bring in someone who was elected which is not lawful. They need to go for a by-election and elect the person whom they love through the ballot,” added Sonko.
Last week, a cross-petition filed by Sonko in a bid to block the vetting of Ms Mwenda as Deputy Governor appointee was thrown out.
Sonko had moved to the anti-corruption court seeking to bar petitioner Peter Agoro from withdrawing his case that barred vetting of Ms Mwenda.
This now leaves open ground for Kananu to be hastily vetted by the county assembly and sworn in as the deputy governor.
Consequently, in Sonko’s absence following impeachment, Kananu will take over as the Nairobi governor and later appoint a deputy governor.
The High Court had temporarily suspended the scheduled Nairobi gubernatorial by-election following a petition filed by Sonko challenging his impeachment.
If he withdraws the case, this will leave an open ground for a by-election, which might never happen if Mwenda is vetted and approved for the post.