Senator Mike Sonko has reportedly rejected a Cabinet position offered to him by the Jubilee administration to quit the Nairobi governor’s race.
The flamboyant lawmaker will go ahead and contest in the Jubilee primaries on Friday against Peter Kenneth, who is backed by the party’s hierarchy.
According to the report published by The Star, the Cabinet position was offered and rejected on several occasions. The position offered was CS for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region; a newly created post that would have had Sonko overseeing Kiambu, Kajiado, Murang’a and Machakos counties.
In February, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an Executive Order establishing the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (Namata), a mechanism to establish an integrated, efficient, sustainable transport system within the metropolitan area.
The President was willing to elevate Namata to a ministry and hand it to Sonko according to several sources. But now, a source familiar with the offers told The Star that Jubilee has given up on Sonko.
“We have given up on Sonko. We wanted him to back Kenneth and we even offered him many other options, but he has rejected all of them.”
An aide to Deputy President Ruto also commented on Sonko’s insistence to be governor. He said the Jubilee people will now have to decide between the two.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Sonko has enlisted Jimnah Mbaru, who unsuccessfully ran for the position in 2013, to be his running mate. If the pair is successful, Mbaru will be expected to run county affairs as Chief Operating Officer while Sonko plays politics.
By reaching out to Mbaru, the Senator is appealing to Kikuyu voters in Nairobi with the tycoon being a well-respected member of the community.
His opponent, however, is also backed by Kikuyu voters but by also big money in Murang’a county. This has led to Sonko’s constant portrayal of Kenneth being an outsider to the Kikuyu voters.
Uhuru has pledged to ensure that Jubilee wins the Nairobi governor’s race because the current ODM-controlled administration has failed. The president feels Peter Kenneth is the best person to take the job.