Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has reacted to Polycarp Igathe’s abrupt resignation as Nairobi Deputy Governor.
According to a statement from Mr Sonko’s office on Friday evening, the Governor acknowledged the receipt of Mr Igathe’s resignation letter.
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He stated he would address the public at a later date in view of the unexpected turn of events.
“The Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has received a letter of resignation from Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe. The Governor is considering the letter and will issue a comprehensive statement later,” the statement read.
Igathe resigned, citing frustrations because he ‘failed to earn the Governor’s trust’, in what is blamed on strained working relationship with Sonko.
“Dear Nairobians, it is with a heavy heart that I resign my seat as elected Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County effective 1pm on 31st Jan 2018. I regret I have failed to earn the trust of the Governor to enable me to drive Admin & Management of the county,” he posted on his Twitter account.
“Without fear, favour or ill will I step down to avoid abusing or betraying my oath of office to Kenyans, Nairobians & my family. Thank you for the encouraging support given to me so far,” he added.
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 the Jubilee Party 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.
Article 182 of the Constitution, however, mentions only how to replace the governor and not his deputy.