March 13, 2021 - 5 minutes read

Sonko evades trial. A bad signal in corruption fight

By Wanjiku Mwai

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was on Friday discharged from Nairobi Hospital and allowed to continue the rest of his recovery at home. His lawyer, John Khaminwa, was keen to add that he remains mentally unfit to stand trial.

The end of his stay at Nairobi Hospital, where he was pictured relaxing in what appeared to be a private room sometimes heartily having roasted ribs, marks yet another chapter in his bid to evade trial.

Sonko has a knack for avoiding time before a judge or magistrate, and where others have used legal tactics to avoid trial, he took the hospital route. He is not alone: former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has taken advantage of the pandemic to similarly evade trial, claiming at one point that he was down with Covid-19 and could not therefore attend court.

The success of the suspects’ evasion tactics has a dual effect: it dampens the morale of prosecutors and creates the impression in the public court that the powerful and connected can escape justice forever. Of the big fish who have been arraigned over corruption, Sonko and Waititu’s looked like the easiest to nail as there was a well-established record of transactions from tender beneficiaries to the suspects. With their continued evasion of the courts, the fight against corruption will not appear to be on course.

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