Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has halted the appointment of County Secretary Peter Kariuki.
The County Assembly Appointments Committee vetted Kariuki last year and the report was due for tabling on the floor of the assembly. The committee is headed by Speaker Beatrice Elachi.
In a letter addressed to Elachi, Sonko says he has recalled the nomination of Kariuki, adding that he needs more time to consult.
“This is to advise that I am recalling the above officer to allow for further consultation before we conclusively undertake the appointment of the same. I will revert to you soonest,” read part of the letter dated February 26.
Resisting State House
The letter caught many by surprise especially given that Kariuki had been seconded from State House, where he worked at the Project Delivery Unit in the Office of the President.
At the same time, Sonko reshuffled his Cabinet barely three months after the executives were sworn. Sources close to the governor -who spoke on condition of anonymity- termed the reshuffle political. They claimed Sonko was keen on down-scaling State House’s influence on City Hall.
“If you look at the changes, executives that were seconded from State House have been allocated ‘minor’ sectors whereas the rest have been handed seemingly more technical dockets,” stated the source.
In another circular, Sonko replaced Finance Executive Vesca Kangogo with Danvas Makori who was serving in the Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries docket. Kangogo has now been put in charge of the Devolution docket.
Peter Wachira, a former National Housing cooperation MD who served in the Lands docket was moved to head Agriculture. Charles Kerich, who was heading ICT, replaced Wachira at the Lands docket.
Larry Wambua, who was in charge of Devolution was appointed in the Environment and Water docket. Emmah Muthoni was moved to the ICT docket.
The governor, however, retained Hitan Majevda in the Health services docket, Allan Igambi as the Tourism Executive and Janet Ouko in the Education, Youth, Gender and Sports.
Mohammed Dagane was also retained as executive for Roads, Infrastructure and Transport. Sonko indicated that the changes were effective immediately.
“The changes should take effect immediately and the Executive Members should take their work with the seriousness it deserves,” stated Sonko.
A spot check by Metropolitan, however, revealed disparities in the signatures of the letters signed by Governor Sonko. Comparing the signatures with the one in a letter the governor signed when he nominated Kariuki for the position of County Secretary, last year, they appeared different.
Director of Communications Elkana Jacob maintained that the documents were authentic.
He added that the changes were necessitated by the urge for efficient service delivery.