Wars between Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Interior Ministry principal secretary Karanja Kibicho are allegedly far from over.
While the exchanges have cooled down since last year when then Citizen TV‘s Salim Swaleh is said to have delivered to Sonko a recording of the Interior PS insulting the former, Kahawa Tungu understands that the wars are still on.
According to a local weekly publication, the bullish PS who formerly worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has enlisted the services of newly appointed Nation Media Group’s Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu.
Mathiu, the publication details, was introduced to Kibicho by the ministry’s spokesman, Mwenda Njoka, a journalist.
The county chief has apparently been a man on edge ever since Mathiu occupied the corner office at the twin towers. It is through Mathiu that negative stories are planted in the media house that has in the past been accused of serving vested political and commercial interests, Sonko believes.
On June 8, Nation carried an article “Mike Sonko: Paranoid or Master of Blackmail?” explaining why he uses what some would call underhanded means in dealing with fellow politicians and ordinary citizens.
It is because of this that Sonko apparently sought the services of certain bloggers who for a few hours last week launched a troll against NMG using the #NationMediaGarbage.
The bloggers, Daily Nation listed them as follows in a Friday, June 7 article “State House Denies Link With Bloggers Who Attacked NMG”: Mwangi Francis, Polycarp Hinga and Benard Kibet, who claims to be a journalist,
Also on the list was Kennedy Gichuru, Ngure Paul, Justus Ondieki and Kevin Munyui.
The “guns for hire” criticised NMG’s coverage of the standard gauge railway, the proposed housing project, 2022 succession politics, KRA succession and the government’s huge appetite for loans.
The publication also details how Sonko believes that state machinery had a hand in leaking a dossier on how he was released from prison because of his alleged HIV positive status.
The damning dossier was apparently leaked to Star Editor Paul Ilado as a way of tarnishing his image.
Sonko has also blamed the arrest of County Secretary Pauline Kahiga on PS Kibicho. He claims that the PS used Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) officers to harass Kahiga in a bid to cut his government down to size.
Sources privy to the goings-on also indicate that Kahiga’s harassment is a play by the PS to bring back to city hall ex-county secretary Peter Kariuki.
Kariuki was relieved of his duties in September 2018 for corruption, incompetence and insubordination.
The governor has in the past accused Kibicho of being a crooked man who he said stole over Sh400 million in the purchase of a piece of land for Ugandan Embassy while at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The land was according to Sonko valued at Sh250 million but Sh650 million was paid out.
“Why is corruption and theft by some senior government officials being downplayed? Why are smart thieves in government being spared? Why should one be allowed to stay in office to use confidential budget to pay editors and bloggers to fight those who want him to account for theft of public money?” he posed on Facebook.
The PS has in the past dismissed the allegations made against him by Sonko and instead asked him to “man up and address the people he wants to address but not through me.”