In the last week, the Star newspaper has splashed two headlines on alleged investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) about the acquisition of property along Matumbato Road, Upperhill, Nairobi.
The story, which trended on social media has seen Kenyans talking, others accusing the EACC of being weaponized to fight the embattled governor.
Responding to the allegations, Nairobi governor Mike Sonko states that is is the legal purchaser of land LR. 209\6507 owned by the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme (property in question).
The governor has further stated that he entered into an agreement to lease the property on May 22, 2017, for use as office space. The property then served as his my campaign centre for the 2017 gubernatorial campaign and also as Tallying centre forJubilee party, for the Nairobi electoral seats.
That while he was a tenant, in December 2017 and December 2018 under tender No. KRSBRS/013/PLM.2017 and tender No.KRSRBS/08/PLM.2018, the Pension Trustees advertised for an open tender to purchase parcels of the property. Both bids were non-responsive.
That in February 2019, under Tender No. KRSRBS/02/PLM.2019, the Trustees placed another open tender which he bid successfully.
Following the third tender advert, he entered into an agreement with the Trustees to purchase two portions of the land for Sh498.5 million on 30th April 2019. He has since paid Sh144.6 million as part-payment in accordance to the contract.
The transactions were done from his DTB account to Co-operative Bank accounts of the Pension Scheme Trustees through an RTGS while some of the amounts were paid from his lawyer’s accounts. The sources of this money can be provided, the governor states.
Sonko alleges the EACC is yet to contact him or his lawyers in its quest to find the truth about the transaction if indeed there is an ongoing inquiry.
The governor says he has nothing to hide and will glady provide any documents required by the EACC should they ask him to do so.
However, he believes that the reports and alleged probe by EACC are malicious and maybe a move to intimidate him to go slow on some of the political and legal decisions he has taken in the last few weeks, specifically, his position on the transfer of functions to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and refusal to assent the Supplementary Appropriations Bill, 2020 into law.
There are other prominent persons including Raila Odinga, Raphael Tuju, and Radisson Blu who have also bought part of the land yet we have haven’t heard them being investigated.