Kenya prosecutor orders Nairobi governor’s arrest for economic crimes

NAIROBI (AFP) – Kenya’s chief prosecutor yesterday ordered the arrest of the governor of the capital Nairobi for economic crimes, the latest top official to come under scrutiny in a bid to crack down on corruption.

Governor Mike Sonko and other country officials are accused by public prosecutor Noordin Haji of having benefitted from irregular procurement and payments of USD3.5 million.

Haji said he had sufficient evidence to prosecute Sonko and other officials for “unlawful acquisition of public property, money laundering and other economic crimes”.

“I have therefore ordered for the immediate arrest and arraignment in court of the Governor of Nairobi Mike Mbuvi Sonko and other persons,” Haji said in a statement.

It was seen as a maverick move when, in 2017, the ruling party chose populist Mike Sonko as its candidate for Nairobi’s gubernatorial poll, a controversial politician who has spent time in jail and has had to deny allegations of illegal activities, including drug trafficking.

Haji said his investigation into Sonko and his officials had been challenging “because of the repeated attempts by the accused to obstruct the course of the investigations by deploying intimidation tactics in addition to using goons to threaten law enforcement officials carrying out their constitutional mandates.”