The dispute between city tycoon Mike Kamau and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko over the demolition of residential houses in Kayole estate has taken a new twist after the businessman sued the county boss over an explosive phone call recording.
Mr Kamau, the owner of Marble Arch Hotel, accuses Mr Sonko of releasing a recording of their phone conversation in which he insulted the businessman, initiating social media attacks that he claims damaged his reputation and image.
The dispute started in December after Muthithi Investments Ltd, owned by Mr Kamau, started demolishing houses built on a 20-acre plot in Nairobi’s Kayole estate.
The governor called the businessman and in a leaked private conversation threatened to demolish part of his hotel, which he said is built on grabbed land.
The firm had earlier obtained a court order to evict the occupants from the plot.
“Pending the hearing of the application inter-parties, a temporary injunction be issued directed at the defendant restraining him from making any defamatory statements and/or making any defamatory publications in reference to the plaintiffs,” reads one of the orders sought by Mr Kamau.
He wants the governor ordered to delete a Facebook post in which he allegedly claims that the businessman misled the court using forged documents.
The businessman says the phone call recording, which was widely circulated, and the Facebook post, were meant to depict him as someone who is violent, corrupt, and has misled the court using fake documents which is a criminal offence under the Penal Code.
“The continued defamation has spread through social media like wild fire to the extent on December 20, 2018, the 1st plaintiff (Mr Kamau’s) name was trending on Twitter following the circulation of the (call recording) video,” says the businessman.
Mr Kamau is seeking general damages for libel, slander and loss of business.