By: VINCENT AGOYA
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko has sued Governor Evans Kidero for allegedly making defamatory remarks linking him to drug peddling.
He wants Dr Kidero and a newspaper compelled to apologise and compensate him for tainting his reputation. The suit has been certified as urgent.
“The defendants jointly and severally have over the past few weeks engaged in a smear campaign against the plaintiff and have made defamatory, slanderous and scandalous allegations without any reasonable justification,” the senator’s lawyer, Danson Mungatana, told court.
The suit was filed at the expiry of a demand notice the senator had issued against the governor. He had given Dr Kidero a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw and publish an apology in the local press.
“The allegations are that the plaintiff is a drug peddler using his ambulances and hearses to supply drugs to slums,” the lawyer said.
Mr Sonko states that the governor made the allegations in a public gathering that were subsequently published in the Star newspaper “and have such caused irreparable harm”.
SONKO RESCUE TEAM
Mr Mungatana said his client runs an emergency services organisation called the Sonko Rescue Team, whose sole interest is to assist the needy in the society and manage disaster in times of crises “thus associating him with crime is unethical and injurious to the very nature of his charitable organisation”.
“The allegations only serve to disparage the plaintiff’s reputation and will continue to cause injury unless the defendants are restrained through a court order,” the lawyer said.
He claimed that due to the publication of the story, Mr Sonko has started incurring “huge loses” as some of his contracts to provide charitable assistance to the needy have been cancelled while others are at risk of being terminated.
“I believe that any person who heard Dr Kidero speak during the function at Mathare could easily have connected the same newspaper report with an intention to destroy our young generation instead of providing them with mentorship and socio-economic empowerment,” Mr Sonko states in an affidavit presented to the court.
He states that the words were not only falsely and maliciously uttered and printed but were meant to portray him as unfit to hold public office, adding that despite a demand for an apology the defendants had declined to retract the statements.