Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has linked his Sh498.5 million Upper Hill property woes to his decision to terminate the deed of transfer for the county.
This comes after it emerged that the EACC is investigating the property deal between the Governor and the Kenya Railways pension scheme.
In a statement on Tuesday, Sonko said he acquired all his properties through the required legal procedures and he termed the investigations malicious.
“I believe that the reports and alleged probe is malicious and maybe a move to intimidate me to go slow on some of the 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.
Defending himself, Sonko acknowledged being the legal purchaser of land LR. 209\6507 owned by the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme.
He explained that in May 22, 2017, he entered into an agreement to lease the property for use as office space.
“The property then served as my campaign centre for the 2017 gubernatorial campaign and also as Tallying centre for Jubilee party, for the Nairobi electoral seats,” Sonko said.
The governor further said that on April 30, 2019, he paid a deposit of Sh44.6 million after he entered into an agreement with the scheme’s trustees to purchase two portions of the land.
However, the governor said the purchase only happened after three tendering processes that happened between 2017 and 2019.
Sonko mentioned 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, but the bids were non-responsive.
Under Tender No. KRSRBS/02/PLM.2019, the Trustees placed another open tender which Sonko bid successfully in February 2019.
It was after this bidding process that Sonko claimed he bought the two parcels of land which he paid from his lawyer’s account and his account at Diamond Trust Bank.
“The transactions were done from my DTB account to 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,” he explained.
Earlier, as seen by the Star, documents revealed that the Upper Hill property deal was signed between Corporate and Trust Pension Services Ltd directors James Olubayi and Anthony Kilavi, and a firm known as Primix Enterprises Ltd.
Sonko’s wife Primose Mwelu is one of the directors of Primix Enterprises Ltd.
She signed the sale agreement alongside her co-director Mwajuma Hamisi
In addition, Sonko said he had nothing to hide and will avail any document required by the anti-graft commission upon request.
He highlighted that EACC has not yet contacted himself or his lawyers to find out the truth on the transactions made.
The property is situated along Matumbato Road — right behind the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel — which is one of Nairobi’s most sought-after addresses.
The property has been the nerve centre of Sonko’s political activities, serving as his private office, especially since he was arrested, charged and barred from accessing City Hall over graft allegations.
On Monday, EACC boss Twalib Mbarak wrote to the acting CEO of the scheme, Victoria Mulwa, to provide at least eight sets of documents by Wednesday.
She will also be grilled on the same day at Integrity Centre.
“We hereby also invite your Ag. CEO for an interview and statement recording on the same date 6th May 2020,” Mbarak wrote.
The commission also wants tender documents, minutes of the tender committee, sale agreements, payment documents, approved subdivision and the main title deed.