In Summary
  • The governor, clearing the air after it emerged that investigative agencies were looking into the deal, said he is the bona fide owner of the property hosting his private office.
  • Governor Sonko defended himself saying he was the legal purchaser of the property - LR. 209\6507 - owned by the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme.
  • The former Nairobi senator further noted that he has occupied the property since May 22, 2017 when he entered into an agreement to lease it or use as office space.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has defended his acquisition of a multi-million shilling Upper Hill property, saying it was above board.

The governor, clearing the air after it emerged that investigative agencies were looking into the deal, said he is the bona fide owner of the property hosting his private office.

It was reported that the deal to acquire the property has been dogged with controversy, including claims the land was undervalued, with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) probing where the City Hall boss got the money for the purchase.

It was also reported that the commission was investigating documents including tender documents, minutes of the tender committee, sale agreements, payment documents, approved subdivision documents and the main title deed.

Sonko defended himself but in a statement on Tuesday but was quick to link the alleged probe to his stand on terminating the Deed of Transfer of Functions between City Hall and the State.

“I believe the reports and alleged probe are malicious and may be a move to intimidate me to go slow on some of political and legal decisions I have taken in the last few weeks, specifically, my position on the transfer of functions to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and refusal to assent the Supplementary Appropriations Bill, 2020 into law,” he said.

TENDERING

Governor Sonko defended himself saying he was the legal purchaser of the property - LR. 209\6507 - owned by the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme.

He said he entered into an agreement with the scheme’s trustees to purchase two portions of the land for Sh498.5 million on April 30, 2019 and that he paid a deposit of Sh144.6 million in accordance with the contract.

Sonko said the purchase happened after three tendering processes between 2017 and 2019.

The former Nairobi senator further noted that he has occupied the property since May 22, 2017 when he entered into an agreement to lease it or use as office space.

“The property then served as my campaign centre for the 2017 gubernatorial campaign and also as a tallying centre for Jubilee party, for the Nairobi electoral seats,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He added, “The EACC is yet to contact me or my lawyers in its quest to find the truth about the transaction, if indeed there is an ongoing inquiry. As a governor, I have nothing to hide and will gladly provide any documents required by the EACC should they ask me to do so."

THE MONEY

While a tenant between December 2017 and December 2018, the pension trustees advertised for an open tender to purchase parcels of the property under tender No. KRSBRS/013/PLM.2017 and tender No. KRSRBS/08/PLM.2018, but both bids were non-responsive.

Sonko said the trustees advertised for another bid in February 2019, under Tender No. KRSRBS/02/PLM.2019, which he bid for successfully.

It was after the successful bidding process that he acquired the two parcels of land, paying from his account at Diamond Trust Bank and his lawyer’s accounts.

“The transactions were done from my DTB account to the Co-operative Bank accounts of the Pension Scheme Trustees through an RTGS, while some of the amounts were paid from my lawyer's accounts. The sources of this money can be provided,” the governor said.

But according to the report, the deal was signed between the trustee’s directors and a firm known as Primix Enterprises Ltd, which is allegedly linked to Sonko's wife, Primrose Mwelu.

She allegedly signed the sale agreement alongside her co-director Mwajuma Hamisi.