A recording has emerged of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko implying that President Uhuru Kenyatta is controlling the ongoing crackdown on illegal buildings. Sonko made the insinuation on Wednesday in an apparent phone conversation with Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, who was seeking the release of his wife. Sonko explains to Waititu that the arrest was an order from above and adds that “unajua mimi Nairobi nimekaliwa”. He urges the Kiambu Governor to call State House.
Waititu’s wife Susan Wangare and 13 other others were arrested earlier on Wednesday over the construction of illegal buildings in Nairobi. Among them are the owners of the Jamii Bora building and Delta Hotel. In the recording, Sonko notes that the intensified war on corruption followed a presidential order but asks Waititu to let him break the law and secure the release of his wife. But he refuses to help the others apprehended alongside Wangare, who include Robert Rukwaro, Simon Ngare, Julius Mukala, Kyalo Musyoka, DicksonMulinga, Paul Mutunga and Johson Wambua.
The arrest came amid the National Environment Management Authority’s efforts to reclaim riparian reserves. Waititu earlier said that instead of the destruction, property owners should be forced to “divert rivers”. He also said Nema and Nairobi county should look for an alternative to the demolition. Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko told him to keep off the capital’s matters.