Gidion Mike Sonko made his first Sh5 million when he sold his father’s land. A senior police officer who encountered Sonko before he struck it rich has very captivating anecdotes. The officer, who requested not to be named, remembers the senator as a thin, tall kind-hearted boy who loved solving people’s problems.
The policeman explained that Sonko’s obsession with solving other people’s problem landed him in hot soup with his father. He recalled, “When he sold his father’s land, the old man was angry but Sonko told him he did it because he wanted to secure his future.”
The father too led a flashy life and used to put on flashy suits and a godfather hat and smoked. The father forgave Sonko and gave him his blessings to go ahead and invest the money prudently. “I was a police officer at Kwale District Commissioner’s office when Sonko was a student at Kwale High School. “His father, Mzee Kioko was a senior lands officer at the Kwale district lands office,” he said.
At the time, the police officer used to run a police canteen. He says he was shocked when one time Sonko walked into his canteen and offered to pay the bill for those who there. “He had just cleared school and he walked into my canteen and asked me the total bill for those who were having lunch there,” the policeman said.
He added, “He paid the bill and rose to go out. I requested him to let me tell the patrons that he had paid their bill. They were happy but he left quietly.” Sonko says the Sh5 million he got from selling his father’s land is the source of his wealth, though he is not willing to say how much he is worth.
“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,” Sonko said. He says he was the sales and marketing manager at Gidson Properties, his father’s company. He relocated to Nairobi in 1994 where he bought eight matatus that plied the Kibera route.
Sonko later bought more matatus, which plied route 42 to Dandora and Umoja from 1994 to 1997. “I also bought and sold plots and residential houses,” the senator said. He bought minibuses, two buses, one double-decker for tours and travel business and set up his matatu business office in Buru Buru.
The Nairobi Senator later built a huge rental house in Soweto area. “He built a rental house with many rooms that had red and green colours near my rental house in Karanja Estate in Kwale,” the policeman said. The policeman also remembers Sonko’s deceased mother in-law.
“Mrs Maina, a former headmistress of a school for people with mental challenges was Sonko’s mother in-law. She was very close to Sonko,” the policeman said. The officer later met Sonko in Nairobi when he was transferred to Nairobi. “It was in 2006 when the magistrates were demonstrating and we had been called in to beef up security.
We parked our lorry on Taifa Road and I saw a small car coming towards our lorry,” he said. He added, “I saw a young man with many chains come out and approach me. It was Sonko. He said he had seen me and wanted to greet me. He gave me some money.” The policeman later learnt that Sonko was an MP and is very happy that his friend is now senator.