Mike Sonko
Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko: Why did Citizen abruptly stop his interview?

Questions are being raised over why Citizen TV abruptly stopped an interview with Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko Sunday night amid claims that Governor Evans Kidero could have played a role.

Sonko, who was appearing on Citizen TV’s Nipashe news programme, was about to unleash evidence linking the governor to various misdeeds in the city, including alleged grabbing of a Kilimani property and the death of the wife of the property owner. Sonko alleges this was committed by associates of Governor Kidero and his personal assistant George Wainaina under the guise that they had defaulted on rates payment.

The interview came just days after Sonko and Kidero were involved in a physical scuffle during a Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee meeting where he first raised the issue.

It is claimed a senior manager at Citizen intervened to stop the interview midway, after Kidero allegedly reached out to him. The interview had only run for seven out of the programmed 45-50 minutes.

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Sonko was being hosted on the show by Salim Swaleh, a former editor at Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) who was making a debut after being hired to take over the Sunday 7pm news programme from Lulu Hassan and Kanze Dena.

Some blogs have even claimed that a vehicle belonging to the County Government of Nairobi was seen at the Q Lounge, a pub adjacent to Communications Centre, the Citizen TV base, where the said manager was having a drink, after the interview was interrupted.

We could not establish whether a bribe exchanged hands. However, there are those who aver that the Citizen TV management may have taken the drastic step to avoid a potential libel suit by Kidero.


This is not the first time Sonko has been embroiled in controversy with Citizen TV. Last year in April, a number of Citizen TV editors were suspended for allegedly taking a bribe from the Nairobi Senator not to run a story in which he was almost lynched by in Kajiado after being accused of bribing voters. The editors, including Kiswahili anchor Swale Mdoe, were reinstated after investigations failed to establish evidence against them.

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