Sonko-allied ward reps and minister differ over cash for pending bills

Nairobi County acting finance executive Pauline Kahiga during a past Senate Committee meeting. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]
MCAs allied to Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko yesterday stormed the office of acting Finance executive Pauline Kahiga demanding some unverified pending bills be cleared.

According to County Assembly Minority Whip Peter Imwatok, the ward reps wanted Sh1 billion released by the Treasury for the payment of pending bills be diverted to clear legal fees.

Ms Kahiga, however, refused to divert the funds, sparking a standoff.

Mr Imwatok, in a statement, said Kahiga refused to sign and forward the documents necessary for the release of the funds to go towards paying lawyers and suppliers who were not registered as having pending bills.

The MCAs marched to her office to eject her. Kahiga was, however, tipped off and managed to escape and report the incident at the KICC Police Station under OB number 29/20/01/2020.

Gazette notice

Consequently, the MCAs installed Trade executive Allan Igambi as the acting Finance executive, citing a gazette notice that was allegedly done on December 13.

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"It is notified that the governor of Nairobi has appointed Allan Esabwa Igambi as the acting county executive member, Finance and Economic Planning and degazetted the appointment of Pauline Nyambura Kahiga as county executive finance effective December 5, 2019,” read the notice.

The Standard could not determine the legality of the gazette notice since it was issued by acting County Secretary Leboo Morintat as opposed to Governor Sonko, who is the appointing authority for county executives in line with the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.

A check on the Kenya Law website of the notice did not bring up any results of the same.

Imara Daima MCA Kennedy Obuya, who was among the MCAs who stormed Kahiga’s office, insisted that she (Kahiga) had been serving in the department illegally.

Obuya also defended the actions of the members, saying they were simply performing their oversight role.

A source told The Standard that the MCAs in question had met Governor Sonko prior to the incident.

Sonko is currently barred from office following his prosecution last month over the alleged loss of Sh357 million.

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Josphat Thiong'oNairobi Governor Mike Sonko