Its way too easy to get on top than to stay on top, especially with Kenya politics, a lesson Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is learning albeit a little too late.
Starting from a Member of parliament in politics, Sonko’s past and present have become a culmination of both his success story and his terrible fall from grace.
With his arrest on Friday, Sonko is about to start a long terrible journey fighting the state that has clearly proven it wants him out, to prove his innocence. And time is not on his side.
Sonko’s troubles started after the 2017 elections and most definitely, like every other politician finding themselves in trouble, after they choosing sides in the infamous handshake.
He fell out too quickly with his Deputy Governor and decided to run the city of Nairobi alone, or rather to rundown the City alone. But the problem is his allegiance was not on the right side and he tried desperately to endear himself as a leader ‘of the people’ thus trying to brush off attempts to tame him by State House.
Efforts by State House to control or work with Sonko’s administration did not work out and Sonko would quickly run to the people to prove his speaks for them, this while walking on gold shoes, wearing gold watches and versace dresses to address the poor voters.
When investigations began, he attempted to dismiss this and only made the situation worse by threatening the investigators and even the EACC itself. He at some point threatened to demolish the Integrity Center building for allegedly being built on grabbed land.
With his arrest, the police, the EACC, DPP and State House are probably out to reduce the big man syndrome in Sonko, not that anyone is really interested in trailing 327 million when billions are lost in bigger scandals.
At the helm of his political career, Sonko was the president of Nairobi, but the moment those cuffs locked on his hands, he is now with an even worse fate that Governor Ferdinand Waititu .
Firstly he would be expected to step down until the conclusion of this matter. And with the way the judiciary is underfunded, Sonko would be going to courts for more than a year to clear this matter. Waititu is yet to even start the trial itself, and in this whole time he is barred from accessing the office nor executing the functions of office of the Governor. Same fate awaits Sonko.
Without the trappings of power, it will prove very hard for him to sum up any kind of political support for whatever position he was eyeing in 2022. This also means other politicians will now move in and cease the vacuum he created by refusing calls to appoint a Deputy Governor…
Not only has he to defend himself against charges of abuse of office, the police intend to pin him down on charges of resisting arrest and assault, all of which was caught on camera. It would take a highly competent lawyer to convince the judge otherwise.
Then of course the bigger matter of being cleared to run for office. Sonko would require clearance from the EACC, the same office he has maligned, ridiculed and threatened, same office that has investigated him and tracked down his finances and found evidence to charge him in Court.
Attempts by Sonko’s team to cause demos for his release would only work to further injure his defense. The prosecution might find this cause to object any bail request by his lawyers.
At the end, Sonko flew too high, gobbled too much and forgot his wings were made of wax.