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Sonko drivers charged with blocking Uhuru

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s two drivers have been hauled before the courts for obstructing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s motorcade, in a dramatic escalation of the troubles facing the embattled county boss.

The two, Antony Wangamba and Joseph Njue, are facing charges of obstructing the presidential motorcade while driving vehicles “without a fixed prescribed number of identification plates, design and colour inscribed as the identification mark”.

The offence, according to court documents seen by the Sunday Nation,happened on Thursday, August 29, on Mombasa Road in Nairobi as President Kenyatta’s motorcade made its way to State House from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after landing from Tokyo, Japan, where he had attended the Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

Appearing separately before Principal Magistrate Martha Nanzushi of the Nairobi Traffic Court, Mr Wangamba and Mr Njue, who are drivers attached to the governor, denied the charges. Mr Wangamba was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser J200, commonly referred to as the V8, while Mr Njue was driving the upgraded LX570 Lexus version of the J200, and police say both vehicles did not have number plates. The charge sheets indicate their addresses as the Nairobi County Government.

While both of them were arrested on August 29, Mr Wangamba was in police custody until the day he was arraigned on September 9, while Mr Njue appeared after being summoned for arraignment. He was represented by his lawyer.

READ ALSO:   UNMASKED: Here is the woman who's claiming Sonko ‘impregnated’ and dumped her

Mr Wangamba was released on Sh50,000 bond while Mr Njue was freed on Sh100,000 bond.

The hearings of their cases have been set on separate dates in November.

On the day the offences were alleged to have been committed, there had been drama at the airport, when presidential guards reportedly ordered official photographers to delete pictures capturing the President’s arrival.

The President, who had landed shortly before 9am, had been received by Deputy President William Ruto, Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe, military service commanders, Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, among others.

According to the reports, photographers from both the President’s and DP’s pools took photos as President Kenyatta exchanged pleasantries with the senior government officials who had come to receive him. After greeting Mr Sang, who was the last in line, he headed straight to the presidential limousine to leave for State House. But before the motorcade left JKIA, the Presidential Escort Unit Commander Josphat Kirimi reportedly ordered photographers to delete the photos, the reports indicated.

The arrest and prosecution of the two drivers is just one among the many woes facing Mr Sonko, who is fighting accusations that he illegally issued garbage collection tenders. He is also being investigated by the Kenya Revenue Authority over tax evasion claims.

READ ALSO:   Attack on my daughter was politically motivated – Sonko

So damaging are the allegations that the governor has set in motion the process of naming a deputy should he be required to step aside as the boss at City Hall.

“We currently have a crisis, but we are making plans to come up with a name, which we will then forward to the Assembly for approval,” he said at the height of the corruption investigations.

Mr Sonko now cuts the image of a haunted man, a far cry from the flamboyance of the past during which he did not waste any opportunity to display his opulence and peddle influence, as well as demonstrate that he had the President on speed dial.

The admission that he is ready to step aside and let a deputy run the show at City Hall, after years of stubborn insistence that he does not need an assistant, paints the picture of a man coming to terms with his inner self.

When he returned from the KRA offices in Upper Hill, Nairobi, after hours of questioning two weeks ago, a beaten Mr Sonko said he was ready to carry his own cross and resign to allow for investigations.

“We must sustain the fight against graft, and we cannot purport to do so while remaining in office after being accused. So that is a cross I will carry on my own in support of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s fight against graft,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Governor Sonko sues Star over HIV story

Mr Sonko then went underground for almost two weeks, even skipping his late father’s memorial ceremony at the family’s Mua Hills home in Machakos County.

Sources close to him claimed he had taken a break and was at the Coast, but others claimed he had gone underground as he feared the EACC could arrest him any time. This week, he said he had deliberately kept away from City Hall, and that he was not on the run at all.

Mr Sonko said he made a personal decision to stay away from his City Hall office to avoid being accused of interfering with official records, which might be used as evidence in ongoing investigations at the county government.

He said reports of him being in hiding are being peddled by his detractors, adding that the anti-graft agencies must be allowed to do their work independently without interference or intimidation.

“This is precisely why I have maintained total silence on the matter of EACC investigations even after several fake news reports by media houses as I do not want to issue any statement pre-empting or jeopardising the EACC investigations, its findings or final report,” said Mr Sonko in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

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Lifestyle

VIDEO: Man strips naked over removal of wife as Nairobi ODM MCA

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There was drama outside Nairobi County Assembly when a man stripped naked to his innerwear after he got wind that his wife’s rival was to be sworn in as MCA.

The man, identified as Job Oduor, caused a scene outside the assembly entrance protesting after a tip-off that Perpetua Mponjiwa was set to be sworn in to take the position of his wife, Eve Malenya’s position as ODM nominated MCA.

“You cannot remove my wife from her position. I want my wife back in her position,” the man shouted as he tried to access the assembly. The dramatic scene led to a small traffic snarl-up as motorists stopped to watch the free-for-all movie.

Successful court case

It took the intervention of Mathare North MCA Jared Okode alias Defao to plead with Mr Oduor to put on his clothes.

Ms Malenya was de-registered from the IEBC nomination list last year following a successful court case by Ms Mponjiwa.

Consequently, the assembly stopped paying salary to Ms Malenya as well as stopping her medical cover. But she protested her degazettement seeking court orders to stop the swearing-in of Ms Mponjiwa.

Perpetua Mponjiwa. FILE PHOTO

She argued that she was the right person for nomination as MCA under the gender top-up category seeking for the court to suspend the April 5, 2019 Gazette notice on Ms Mponjiwa swearing-in, arguing it is illegal.

READ ALSO:   Sonko pleads with court to release his passports to enable him travel abroad

Ms Malenya added that Ms Mponjiwa ran as an independent candidate in the 2017 General Election and therefore was ineligible to be nominated or elected under the ODM party list.

Also disputing the ruling, the electoral agency and the ODM party filed for a review of the ruling by Justice Nzioki last year July.

As a result, Ms Mponjiwa has never taken the oath of office as nominated MCA or received any salary as a ward representative.

By Nairobi News

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NTV news anchor Ken Mijungu fired

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One of Kenya’s most sought after news anchor Ken Mijungu has been sacked by the Nation Media Group.

The NTV prime-time news anchor broke the news to his fans through his Twitter page on Friday.

“The axe fell NTV newsroom and I was on its way. 7 years in those corridors summed up in a two page letter of termination. We live to fight another day.

“Thanks to God, He remains the greatest, thank you @ntvkenya for the opportunity and thank you for always staying tuned,” he said.

Mijungu is among NTV journalists sacked in the ongoing declared layoffs.

This comes two days after Nation Media Group announced mass firings.

In a media statement dated July 1, the company said it was going through hard times due to the effects of Covid-19 on the economy.

“In this journey, the Group seeks to be innovative, agile and adaptive with the objective to take up leadership in the mobile publishing landscape In Africa.

READ ALSO:   Sonko debuts on Trevor Noah’s ‘The Daily Show’

“This will include focusing on resourcing people in new areas critical for the Group as it moulds itself to win in the future. Regrettably, this will result in a reduction of our workforce. This Is an extremely difficult decision in view of the prevailing circumstances,” the statement read.

NMG becomes the third Media House to sack employees amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Lifestyle

Tears as Naivasha children buried

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Four children reportedly killed by their mother in Naivasha last Friday have been buried in an emotional send-off in Kinangop, Nyandarua County.

Those who attended the two-hour ceremony on Thursday could not hold back their tears as the caskets bearing the remains were removed from a hearse.

As the mahogany caskets were being lined up, forlorn looking locals followed the proceedings in obvious emotional turmoil.

The magnitude of the heinous killing was put into the open as villagers from the sleepy Murungaru village broke the Covid-19 protocols to attend the funeral ceremony in their numbers.

Administrators present were forced to work overtime to ensure social distancing, with the numbers continually swelling.

SPEAK OUT

During the funeral service, church leaders called on people undergoing stressful moments to speak out.

“They should reach out to their friends and relatives and pour their hearts out. The pandemic has affected the social setup but people should open up,” said Kenya Assemblies of God cleric Francis Kamau Mwaura.

The church leader admitted that the disease has taken toll on the population, voicing the need for people to bear the happenings with fortitude.

“Families are going through tough times but those affected should not suffer in silence,” added Mr Mwaura.

READ ALSO:   UNMASKED: Here is the woman who's claiming Sonko ‘impregnated’ and dumped her

SOCIAL MEDIA

The family was also incensed by social media users, with their spokesman, Macharia Kimotho, tearing at them for disrespecting them.

“Some of the online users even posted the picture of the dead children. It was unethical, uncalled for and openly disgusting,” he said

“It was the least we expected. It the high time that content on the social media is regulated,” added Mr Kimotho.

He defended the family, saying their sister who is linked to the killings, was at no point neglected.

“Some of the people are saying that she did not have food. The foodstuff in her house was enough to last her for months,” pointed out Mr Kimotho.

He accused the social media users of causing the family “irreparable damage,” by some of their postings, but was quick to add that they had forgiven their tormentors.

As the four bodies were being lowered to their final resting place, tears flowed freely, screams rent their air with a number of mourners fainting.

The children were finally laid to rest at around 1.15pm.

By Nation.co.ke

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