How Karua Introduced Sonko to Politics

  • A close look at Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko's political career reveals NARC-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua's hand.

    According to The Standard, the political life of Sonko dates back to a by-election in Makadara Constituency, when Karua fronted a candidate who would surprisingly triumph against bigwigs from the leading PNU Party and ODM Party.

    The Makadara Constituency seat fell vacant on June 2, 2010, following a court ruling in a case filed by ODM candidate Reuben Ndolo against the winner declared by IEBC, Dick Wathika.

    Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko leads Madaraka Day celebrations at Pumwani grounds on June 1, 2019.

    The vacant position attracted different contestants and Karua's party nominated Sonko, who had already attracted support from many locals through his flamboyance.

    However, the good terms between Sonko and Karua didn’t last long, as Karua threatened to evict him from the party after drumming support for PNU candidate, Yusuf Hassan, in a Kamukunji Constituency by-election.

    After being issued with a seven-day ultimatum to apologise or risk an ouster from NARC-Kenya, he dared the iron lady to go ahead and kick him out. 

    "I want to tell my sister and party leader Martha Karua to shed her dictatorial tendencies. I will not apologise and I am ready to go to the polls if they kick me out. I am confident that I would be re-elected with a landslide,” remarked Sonko as quoted by The Standard.

    NARC-Kenya party leader Martha Karua (Second left) and other members of the party during the party members family day in Kilimani in June 2018

    Sonko was also accused of working with then-Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta in his ambition to vie for the presidency, a position that Karua also aspired.

    On October 18, 2011, Karua made true her threats and expelled Sonko, a move that sparked public outcry leading to demonstrations at the NARC-Kenya Party headquarters.

    As the Makadara MP, Sonko perfected the art public relations, where many who knocked on his door looking for help were assisted.

    This was followed by the initiation of the Sonko Rescue Team, which gave job opportunities to the unemployed members of his constituency, earning him the endearment of his constituents.

    He made a name from his generosity, dishing money to youths and members of the society, thereby cementing the name Sonko which is sheng for rich.

    Riding on his popularity in the city, Sonko rose to become the Nairobi senator in 2013, and later to the governor after trouncing ODM’s Evans Kidero.