[Statement] Sonko responds to madhouse claims, to sue Nation
6 months ago, 16 Apr 07:07
A story in the Sunday Nation titled 'The Madhouse that is Sonko's City Hall Office' has been widely circulated both in print and electronic form. It has achieved its purpose, which was to portray the Nairobi City County Government under my leadership as dysfunctional, and depict me as a failed Governor. This is the most unfortunate example of irresponsible journalism where great effort is made to malign the character of an individual and expose him to public ridicule without giving him a chance to defend himself or even investigating to verify allegations before publishing them. The tenets of journalism include objectivity, balance and fairness. This story lacked in all these, and the half-hearted sentence at the end of the story that I did not respond to several calls and messages is meant to hide the fact that I was never meant to be heard before my character was attacked in the manner the Sunday Nation has done. I have instructed my lawyers to seek legal redress. The attacks start from the opening paragraph that says my day starts at 5am, depending on how late I stayed up the previous night. Waking up early to serve my people is something I cherish. It is astonishing that these malicious individuals are thoroughly blinded by malice to a point where they want to attack me using my strengths. I wish to state that it is not true that I refuse to see people who don't come to my office at 5 am; I receive Nairobi residents, dignitaries, leaders and guests throughout the day. Most days I am in the office until as late as 10 pm, attending to Nairobians. Ironically, the story talks of congestion in my office most of the time. People have a right to see their elected leader and are not turned away if they have a genuine issue to be addressed. How could my office be congested the whole day if I refuse to meet people from 5 am? I want to tell these malicious individuals that I was elected by the people, and they are always welcome to present their issues to me. This is I have always operated, allowing people to reach me, both in and out of the office. The claim that I drink alcohol in meetings and throughout the day is an outright lie, and it will be upon the Sunday Nation to prove this in court. If I am due to meet an ambassador as reported in the story, and a meeting I have with slum dwellers overruns in terms of time, is that a crisis? Is a Nairobi slum dweller less important than an ambassador? The other claims of making phone calls in the middle of official meetings to give M-Pesa instructions, or failing to listen to my officers, are all bald allegations peddled by the Sunday Nation team. This journalistic mediocrity does not befit a national newspaper but it looks like the Sunday Nation wants to slide deeper into the gutter. On ...
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