Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko has said he is ready to step aside if he is found to be culpable in the ongoing investigation of graft in City Hall.
The governor, emerging from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) offices at Upper Hill, Nairobi some minutes past 4pm after hours of questioning by the taxman officers, said he is ready to carry his own cross and resign to allow for investigations.
“We must sustain the fight against graft and we cannot purport to do so and remain in office after being accused. So that is a cross I will carry on my own in support of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s fight against graft,” said Mr Sonko on Thursday.
The current summon comes hot in the heels of another which also took hours of questioning by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on Tuesday over suspect payments for 13 firms contracted to collect and dispose garbage for the county government.
He, however, said he will not carry the cross of other members of his administration who will be implicated in misappropriation of funds.
“If I am found not guilty I will come back to the office but if I am found guilty then I will carry my own cross because the accusations will have been levelled against Sonko in his capacity as a governor of the people of Nairobi and not the other officers of the county government,” he said.
Mr Sonko intimated that that he is making plans to come up with a person who will act in his absence in case he steps aside to allow for investigations.
“We currently have positional crisis but we are making plans to come up with a person who will act in my absence which we will then forward to the Assembly for approval,” he stated.
The City Hall boss was, nonetheless, optimistic the current investigations will not necessitate his resignation saying “all these are just allegations and you know me, I cannot touch a coin of public funds”.
The governor is under probe over claims his administration deducted tax but never remitted the same to KRA as well as taxes due from payments made to county service providers and contractors including Value Added Tax (VAT) and income tax on profits. Sonko claimed that the Sh4.5 billion non-remitted taxes accumulated before he came into office.