Sonko and Passaris Squash Beef on Two Wheels

  • Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Woman Representative Esther Passaris. File
  • The relationship between Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Woman Representative Esther Passaris has become quite the mystery.

    After back-and-forth public altercations, the two seem to have buried the hatchet and found common ground on two-wheels, if photos that surfaced on Monday, December 2, are anything to go by.

    Kenyans on social media were treated to rare images shared by the woman representative on her social media pages of the governor, herself, UN officials and diplomats on bicycles appearing to be having a good time. 

    "Glad to see Mike Sonko join the cycling band-wagon! Limited understanding of NMT (Non-motorized transport) among government officials is the reason behind poor infrastructure for walking and cycling. Public officials need to experience firsthand challenges of walking and cycling to plan and invest accordingly," Passaris wrote on Twitter.

    Mike Sonko during High Level Bicycle Riding
    Nairobi Gopvernor Mike Sonko and Woman Rep, Esther Passaris (Left) on Monday,December 2, during a cycling event in the city. 

    The Madaraka Day spat that saw Sonko hit below the belt with a 'husband' reference to not picking her phone calls seems to be a narrative of the past with the two appearing cosy in support of the campaign to decongest the city.

    The June 1 verbal attack prompted Passaris to walk off the podium as Sonko continued his tirade against her with the crowd that had gathered at Pumwani Secondary School booing and jeering.

    Earlier in her speech that day, she had urged the governor to unite political leaders in Nairobi even as she seemingly questioned Sonko’s use of money.

    “I don’t have a lot of money, the little I have I share, the governor has money,” she said. But it was the governor’s response that caught even Passaris off guard.

    Campaign to decongest the city and ease traffic

    "The initiative is aimed at promoting non-motorized transport in Nairobi in order to reduce our carbon footprint. My administration has made it mandatory for all new roads to include a provision for cycling lanes and footpaths," Sonko affirmed in a statement published on social media.

    Passaris has in the past demonstrated her committment to making the city safe for cycling. On June 12, 2018, she caused a stir online after ditching her ride and cyling all the way from her Kitisuru residence to Parliament. 

    "Admittedly, cycling in Nairobi is a daunting task loaded with many risks, but that shouldn't be the case," Passaris remarked on Twitter at the time.

    She had on previous occasions disclosed to the media that this was in line with her objectives of understanding the challenges of cycling in the city to inform her recommendations. 

    Esther Passaris cycles to Parliament
    Nairobi Woman Rep, Esther Passaris, cycles to Parliament on June 12, 2018.