Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko was handed a huge political blow when the Supreme Court, on Friday 16 July, upheld his impeachment by the Nairobi County Assembly. The ruling christened ‘Supreme Blow‘ effectively locks Mike Sonko out of the Mombasa gubernatorial race and puts a close to his political career. Interesting events preceded Sonko’s Supreme Blow that begs the question, whose secret card was it? And who stands to benefit most?
First was Sonko’s public endorsement of Azimio candidates alongside President Uhuru, followed by a meeting between Sonko and his former Party Leader and now Azimio Presidential running mate Martha Karua, and finally, a High Court clearance ordering the IEBC to clear Mike Sonko. The order of events in quick motion drew the ire of William Ruto’s supporters who quickly blamed President Uhuru and the Azimio coalition for using the courts to sanitize Mike Sonko in order to have him on the ballot. Speculation was also rife that having Sonko cleared to contest would help the Azimio La Umoja – One Kenya coalition easily convince Mike Sonko to campaign for Polycarp Igathe, the coalition’s Nairobi gubernatorial candidate.
In the light of the heavy criticism that he was being sanitized by President Uhuru after joining Azimio, Mike Sonko came out to dispel those rumors and explained that he joined Azimio long before his court case with IEBC neared completion and had met Martha Karua and Raila Odinga way after the judgment for his case had probably been written. Through his verified social media handles, Sonko delinked his warming up to the Azimio bigwigs with his case and hit out at the double speak of UDA supporters who celebrated Karungo wa Thangwa’s clearance by the courts and IEBC but were vilifying his.
It is no doubt that with Sonko firmly in Azimio as was presumed, Kenya Kwanza would have been the losers of such a political alliance, especially in Nairobi politics and the presidential race. However, the sudden setback to the magnificent political plan by the Supreme Court throws Azimio La Umoja – One Kenya back to the drawing board while Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza is in a celebratory mode. Is there a possibility this bombshell by the Supreme Court was Ruto’s secret card?
Immediately after the Supreme court ruling on Sonko, Ruto’s close political ally, Nelson Havi, took to Twitter to celebrate the judgment.
If you had doubts on the inability of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to provide leadership in Kenya now and after 9-8-2022, their meddling with the judicial process to get Mike Sonko on the ballot should clear that doubt. I am proud of the Supreme Court.” Havi tweeted.
The Courts Vs The Jubilee Executive, And The 2022 Succession.
Supremacy battles between the Executive and the Judiciary have become a much-talked-about topic in Jubilee’s second term. William Ruto, being the master of doublespeak he is, has somehow positioned himself as the biggest beneficiary of the Judiciary’s rulings that veto the president’s moves and initiatives. Ironic as it may be, Ruto has always found a way to draw political capital from Court rulings that appear to set back the president’s agenda, with the BBI ruling being the most prominent, and now, Mike Sonko’s by the Supreme Court.
Both the Supreme Court ruling putting an end to the BBI constitutional reform push and the same court’s ruling that put an end to the political career of Mike Sonko have far-reaching political consequences; the immediate of course being wild celebrations within the political ranks of Ruto’s political base.
In Kenya’s political scene, nothing happens by accident and it is quite telling that all major Supreme Court decisions that relate to the elections appear to favor William Ruto and his journey to the presidency. It is not entirely far-fetched to conclude that he might have pulled a string to have Mike Sonko edged out of the Mombasa race, and hopefully, out of Azimio back to his political corner.