Mike 'Sonko': I'm Not As Wealthy As People Think

Makadara MP-elect Mike "Sonko" Mbuvi Kioko

Makadara MP-elect Mike Mbuvi Kioko aka Sonko is still reluctant to disclose how much he spent on the campaigns.

But the flashy 35-year-old politician talked to The Standard On Sunday on how he accumulated his wealth and how he nearly failed to get a ticket to vie for the Makadara parliamentary seat on grounds he was a non-starter.

The parties that dismissed him were Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM, Water Minister Charity Ngilu’s Narc, Kilome MP Harun Mwau’s Party of Independent Candidates, and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s ODM-Kenya.

"When I sought nomination from ODM, I was turned away on the excuse that Reuben Ndolo had done a lot for the party and had a lot of political experience," Mbuvi said during an interview inside his Hummer in Buru Buru.

His ‘secret weapon’ was support from the youth whom he had helped in many ways. They are the ones who gave him the name ‘Sonko’ – sheng for a man of means.

"Although I had set my eyes on the 2012 General Election, the youth wanted me to vie in the by-election when the Makadara seat fell vacant after an election petition by Ndolo," said Mbuvi.

So how did he accumulate his wealth?

Sonko’s wealth is traced to Mombasa where he was born and educated. There, his father ran a property and real estate agency, Pelly Properties, which he co-owned with another businessman.

After completing primary school at Kikowani Primary School in Mombasa, Mbuvi started getting more involved in his father’s business. At the time he was a student at Kwale High School, Kwale County.

"My father was a developer and used to sell beach plots at the Coast to European buyers. He made good profits because he bought the plots cheaply," Mbuvi told The Standard On Sunday.

He said he made Sh5 million working for his father when he was in Form Four in Kwale High in 1991.

Despite qualifying to go to university, he decided business was his calling. Instead, he took a course in Business Administration and Management at Edxcel International School in Mwanza and Pwani Business College.

At the time, his father and business partner split Pelly Properties. Mbuvi’s father started Gidson Properties where the young man, fresh from school, was the sales and marketing manager.

Mbuvi relocated to Nairobi in 1994 where he bought eight matatus, which plied the Kibera route.

He bought more matatus, which plied route 42 to Dandora and Umoja. He operated matatus in Dandora and Umoja from 1994 to 1997.

"I was also buying and selling plots and residential houses," says Mbuvi.

After 1997, he bought minibuses and began operating his matatu business in Buru Buru where his first minibus was christened ‘Ruffcuts’.

He later bought two buses, one double-decker, for a tours and travel business.

Because of helping the youth when in trouble with the police, and ensuring the arrest of a senior traffic police officer due to harassment and alleged extortion, among other things, he became the chairman of the Eastlands Matatu Association. There were more than 5,000 matatus, under him.

He gained popularity in 2007 after going to court when Eastlands matatus were denied access to the Central Business District. The Government then decreed that the matatus stop at the Muthurwa market and bus terminus.

Mbuvi said he has since diversified his business. He bought Club Casurina in Buru Buru as well as cyber cafes, salons, boutiques, and phone and accessories shops in Nairobi. He also runs a charitable organisation, which helps needy pupils.

He opened a number of youth projects "to empower the youth" in Makadara. He also increased stock for mama mbogas and built them sheds.

"But I never spent Sh150 million as claimed. I am not a rich man as alleged. I have given people projects instead of money. I have been doing this even before the campaigns for Makadara," says Mbuvi.

He says his agenda is to eradicate poverty and become Senator for Nairobi County. Mbuvi promises to declare his wealth after he is sworn-in as MP.

He said while the Constituency Development Fund would be for Makadara people, he plans to set up Mike Sonko Foundation to assist other city constituencies.

He said he expects Sh700 million from some NGOs in Europe within the next two months, which he would spend on projects in Nairobi. His message for the youth is they should work hard to be self-reliant.

"I cannot employ all youth but I will register youth Saccos, which will provide loans at low interest rates.

Sonko has had his run-ins with the law. In 1995 he was arrested for assault and was released on bond. When his mother died in 1997 the bond was cancelled and he was arrested and remanded at Shimo la Tewa Prison. He escaped to bury his mother and was rearrested, but the court pardoned him.

Is Mbuvi related in anyway to Mwau?

"No way," he said.


yassin kassim's picture
yassin kassim
hi sonko am very happy for an alwaz pray for the best. so that God could guide you an protect you from evil witch. continue with that spirit
yassin kassim's picture
Niaje man!thats gud yu have done 2 our nation,keep up the gud waks may God guid n add lots of wealth n wisdom 2help da needy,this nation nids a leader lyke yu am so impressed...
yassin kassim's picture
Paul Mbuvi
Thank you for what you have been doing to the poor. In fact if other wellup peaple of this country can do the same we will not have poor peaple in this country. Thank you may God bless you and continue that way. You know all mps in this country when we elect them go there gat rich and forget and thy even Dont talk about poverty because thy think when tuko sawa thy will be in traouble.
yassin kassim's picture
Paul Mbuvi
If we can be blessed to have a presdent like you all poor peaple will become rich and stable please simama kama presu. wewe ni kiongozi wa masikini. I, come from mwingi north and our MP IS NOT DOING ANY THING SINCE 1985 plz advice him.
yassin kassim's picture
Paul Sonko

hio ni poa boss na uko juu.mimi ni an upcoming musician na still in college training as a dj. my mother who is single pays for my feees though ni doo ya ku hasle coz hana job. nakuuliza kama unaweza kunisaidia kuproduce music yangu?

yassin kassim's picture

hi first of all you are feeding us with crap. You claim he is 35 yet he was in form 4 in 1991 heheheh at that time he was how old nkt..lies ?? Ok lets go on say he was 14 at that time so meaning he entered class 1 when he was 1 year old and finished 8 when he was mmmmmm 8 years so as i always say think before you write and write after thinking .he didnt give you the story you just guessed it. Sonko is a gud leader, even more than your average political hungry leaders.he has done alot in makadara more than ndolo or any other mp did so appreciate him with the truth please

yassin kassim's picture
Mwendwa Wendo

Looks like your mathematics is very poor; Age 35 in 2010 means he was in form four 1991 at the age of 16 (this is common) Then he must have been in class 1 in 1980 at the age of 5 (very common) Must have been born in 1975 or so.

Just common sense Mchizi

yassin kassim's picture


yassin kassim's picture
stella wanjiru

sonko i than God for you because i know you will be able to help, me sell my land so that i save my daughters life.i have been looking for your contact ,my land is in Mombasa second row from beach with a big house please help me.am a poor Kenyan.

I need a sponsor to get to university now. Kindly give me a peace of mind.

yassin kassim's picture

Hi honourable mbuvi

yassin kassim's picture
Stephen K.N
hi, Sonko, have just finished form four 2014, with Grade B. I have no hope continuing with any education since am from a poor family. I had wished to do engineering in university pliz assist me.

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