Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has called out his ‘friends’ for betraying him following his ouster as Nairobi Governor. Taking to his social media accounts, Sonko lamented that the same people he helped in the past pretended to be his friends but were indeed backstabbers.

“Watu wangu – my people, good morning. At times it's a shame that some of the very people you stood for and once you called best friends are the first ones to backstab you for no reason”, he tweeted, adding, “Ata it's better to have an enemy who'll slap you in the face than fake friends ata ni afadhali we would rather have no friends at all than having the fake ones like Judas Iscariot who just betray you for money, material things or favours.”

His rant came a day after his efforts to join the campaign trail of UDA candidate for Kiambaa by-elections, Njuguna Wa Wanjiku, was blocked by Deputy President William Ruto’s allies Kimani Ichung’wah and Rigathi Gachagua who claimed that the party was not ready to accommodate people with questionable character or facing corruption charges.

Before his ouster from City Hall, Sonko was one of Ruto’s close confidante, and he would attend his political events during which he threw unpalatable insults towards President Uhuru Kenyatta and his perceived enemies at Harambee House. During Machako’s senatorial by-election campaigns, Sonko vigorously campaigned for Urbanus Ngengele of the UDA party who lost to former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama’s wife Agnes Kavindu of Wiper.

Following his dramatic arrest in early February, Tangatanga MP’s kept off, a contrast from their usual unity whenever one of them is arrested. When contacted, Kimani Ichung’wah denied blocking Sonko from Kiambaa campaigns stating, “Nobody has blocked Sonko from taking part in UDA activities, however, it serves him better to first concentrate with his court cases. We acknowledge he is one of us – hustlers, but we as a party we do not want to be associated with thugs disguised as leaders”.

Long before he entered politics, Sonko was imprisoned in the 1990s over a land fraud case. He managed to escape from jail by bribing his guards before he was caught and sent back to prison. After being freed, he set up successful businesses including a vibrant matatu (minibus taxi) firm, a real estate company, and a nightclub in Nairobi. Known for his glitzy lifestyle, flashy clothes, and expensive jewelry, he now had the money and guts to enter politics.

At the age of 35, he became an MP in 2010, rising to senator three years later before finally being voted in as Nairobi's governor in 2017 in a spectacular rise and there were high hopes that he would lead a transformation of the capital as he had promised, despite a modest educational background, having only studied up to secondary level. He was a maverick who seemed to have defied the odds, and to understand the city's many problems.



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