Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko has elaborately set the record straight over his morning altercation with Radio presenter Caroline Mutoko. In a candid chat with this writer, the Senator who still reeled from anger and disgust from the morning botched interview maintained that upper middle class journalists like Caroline Mutoko do not understand the kind of people they talk about in their morning radio talk shows.
“They see people below them as some trash; some news items to be vilified when they want and also pitied all the time but not assisted,” says the Senator.
The Senator also says the woman thinks she understands what ails Nairobi but her suggestions reeks of university lecture hall assumptions that are steeped in some kind of perfect utopia.
“She talks colourfully about ‘plans’; about ‘future plans’ and ‘policies’ but that kind of dishwater exists in the classroom not out here,” says the senator reflexively.
Mutoko had earlier sought to know what future plans Sonko had for residents of Nairobi, save for constantly helping people by using his own funds. Sonko dedicates all his salary for the destitute and those in abject need of help, an exercise he pledged during his tenure as Mp for Makadara.
Elected by landslide margin in an election which had the so called “educated”, Senator Sonko maintains his constituents understand his leadership, which he is not changing soon to fit the wimps of the so called ‘middle class journalists and media commentators’.
“How do I tell a woman stuck for weeks with a college going child that you are developing a plan? How do I tell the mother at Pumwani who has just delivered but with a huge hospital bill that my office is working on some health or maternity policy?” the senator posed, and I conquered. He sure cannot.
“Does she (Mutoko) understand that?” Sonko enquired. Listening to Sonko explain the situation of his constituents presents to you a leader extremely empathetic with the conditions of the poor of Nairobi.
Sonko says the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta will with time solve some of the tethering problems facing the poor of Nairobi, which has taken the so called “educated policymakers” the last 50 years to sort out; however, he warns that any leader should not hide from confronting the immediate challenges affecting their people.
“My leadership style may not be the best for newsroom people like Mutoko are used to; but I understand my people more than she understands her work” Sonko chided, saying Mutoko’s contribution to the growth of journalism in Kenya has nothing worth to write home about.
The morning bitter exchanges between the Senator and journalist Mutoko ended up on twitter, where the journalists called sonko a ‘street kid’, but the Senator has taken all that with stride, saying it was the first time he has been abused for serving his constituents.
The Senator is convinced only time will vindicate him, despite the hostility from middle upper class journalists shielded from the realities of life in Nairobi by their huge salaries.
“She earns over ksh 800,000 which she uses on herself alone, what can make such a person pity the poor of Nairobian?”
Lastly Sonko made it clear as a father that he felt uncomfortable with Kiss FM constantly discussing her daughter.
‘‘The reason as to why I called KISS FM was to protest on the discussion leveled against my daughter and not to be interviewed. I have attended other interviews and reacted positively to them. I have always reiterated that I won’t allow anyone to joke around with my family. Previously in the same show, they discussed how Chipukizy will impregnate the President’s daughter and today they discussed the same in respect to my daughter.This prompted me to responded not out of anger but out of love for my daughter just as any father would. I appreciate the fact that he’s made an effort to issue out a public apology but the damage has already been done,” says the Senator.