Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe has resigned barely six months after assuming office citing failure to earn the trust of his boss Governor Mike Sonko to enable him to deliver services to Nairobians.
In a letter dated January 2018 addressed to Governor Mike Sonko, he wrote:
“I write to resign my seat as the elected Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County effective 1pm, Wednesday, 31st January 2018.
Serving Kenyans, in Nairobi under your leadership, has been a high honour and distinct privilege. I am grateful to Nairobians and yourself for giving me the opportunity to serve.
Thank you and please accept my highest personal regards.”
Igathe posted on his Twitter account that he was stepping down to avoid abusing or betraying the oath of office to Kenyans, Nairobians and his family.
Details of the imminent fallout was first published by a local daily that claimed State House was running the affairs of the county as it by making key decisions and seconding senior officials to City Hall.
A miffed Sonko would however deny having a strained relationship with his deputy by publishing a series of private messages between him and Igathe. Their import was that all was okay between the two.
Many political pundits argued the nature of the messages exposed a somewhat uneasy relationship between Sonko and Igathe.
In the thread, Igathe seemed to be fond of missing his boss’s calls and somehow preferred to text him back.
During Jubilee party primaries, State House fished Igathe from Vivo Energy where he was the CEO.
The move was necessitated by a need to have a moderating influence on the flamboyant Governor by having a deputy well versed with corporate management.
Igathe, a University of Nairobi graduate has previously served as the regional managing director of Chris Kirubi's Haco Tiger Brands.
He also served as the chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and a director at the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the apex lobby of the private sector in Kenya.
Igathe was thrust into Nairobi's cloak-and-dagger politics after Jubilee's failed spectacularly to have former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth as its flagbearer in the 2017 elections courtesy of a sustained rebellion by Sonko and a coterie of Nairobi MPs.
At a certain stage, Sonko threatened to quit Jubilee. He later beat Kenneth roundly in the party's primaries. Kenneth called the nominations shambolic and went on to contest the seat as an independent, losing heavily to Sonko.
Igathe's resignation comes barely a week after Sonko survived an election petition by two voters.
The county government act of 2012 stipulates that when a vacancy in the office of the deputy governor arises, it will be filled in the manner stipulated under Article 182 of the Constitution.
However, Article 182 of the constitution mentions only how to replace the governor and not his deputy.