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Sonko vows to crush cartels, clean Nairobi as he takes oath of office

By Geoffrey Mosoku and Josphat Thiong'o | Published Tue, August 22nd 2017 at 00:00, Updated August 21st 2017 at 22:04 GMT +3
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and his deputy Polycarp Igathe hold a county flag after being sworn in at Uhuru Park. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

IN SUMMARY

Mike Sonko was sworn in as Nairobi governor, taking over from Dr Evans Kidero

He said Nairobi deserves better, having been neglected in the past 50 years by successive regimes.

"I will dismantle water cartels, fight land grabbers, clean the city and address the ease of doing business," was the promise by new Nairobi governor Mike Sonko as he took oath of office.

Sonko promised to transform the city and return it to its former glory as the 'City in the Sun', and make it one of the most beautiful cities in Africa.

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The new city father said Nairobi deserved better, having been neglected in the past 50 years by successive regimes, a promise he has asked Nairobi residents to hold him to account for.

"I have never made a promise that I never kept, and this day I wish to give you my personal assurance. Nairobi will never be the same again from today. I shall work around the clock to guarantee efficient and timely services for all our residents," he said.

Break-dance

Sonko spoke at Uhuru Park soon after he and his deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe took oath of office before High Court judge David Majanja in a fete attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

Before embarking on his speech, Sonko broke into a break-dance that left the President in stitches as the crowd cheered on. He then took many by surprise when he broke into song, choosing to sing the classic 'Hakuna Mungu Kama wewe' (there is no God like you) gospel number.

The city boss vowed to fight cartels, build markets for traders and ensure hawkers were no longer harassed all the while cleaning the mess that had been left behind by the Evans Kidero regime.

"This auspicious day marks the end of the cartels that have held the people of Nairobi hostage for many years. Land grabbing and forcible evictions of our people without following due process will be a thing of the past," Sonko said in his speech.

Water will be there

After a brief comparison of what the city was like at independence and now, Sonko vowed to make sure water was available and medical facilities equipped. He further pledged to keep the city clean as witnessed through his 'ng'arisha jiji iniative'.

"We shall seal all loopholes to suffocate the thieves. We shall build new and equip existing health facilities to guarantee our citizens first-class health services. We shall make Nairobi the preferred destination for all local and foreign investors and tourists," he said.

Uhuru committed to collaborate with the Sonko administration to improve public service delivery. "The national government will collaborate with the county government to transform the lives of Nairobians and create jobs for our youths," said Uhuru. 


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