Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko says he initiated talks that saw the National Government take over critical functions at City Hall.
In a statement yesterday, Sonko (pictured) said the decision was informed by research on how countries like Nigeria and the United States handle their big cities.
“I initiated discussions with the National Government with a view to finding a sustainable approach to service delivery that leverages both on the county and National Government resources and competencies,” Sonko said.
“We established that cities the size of Nairobi are best served jointly by devolved units and central governments.”
The statement was prompted by reports that the governor was summoned and ambushed with the agreement to transfer the functions.
The agreement has divided city residents, with some supporting it while others oppose it.
Sonko gave an example of Abuja, Nigeria and Washington DC in the US.
He argued unlike other counties, Nairobi, being the nation’s seat of power and the country’s commercial capital, has unique management needs.
Sonko emphasised that it was he who reached out to the National Government.
He downplayed speculations that Nairobi residents are witnessing his slow, unceremonious exit from the helm, saying the historic and comprehensive agreement will enhance service delivery in the city.
He also said it will re-position Nairobi as the economic hub in the region.
“We believe our bold decision to collaborate with the National Government through the transfer of some of our functions will create positive governance precedence that will help strengthen devolution,” Sonko said.
The governor, who is facing graft charges, noted that his government would now focus on among other things, ensuring Nairobi regains its famed status as the “Green City in the Sun”.
Meanwhile, Sonko has said he will not respond to the grounds raised for his impeachment by MCAs, terming his ouster motion illegal.
Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi on Tuesday gave Sonko up to next Monday to submit his written responses to the 16 grounds tabled by Makongeni Ward MCA Peter Imwatok.
Through his lawyer Harisson Kinyanjui, Sonko has written to the office of the clerk challenging the mandate of the acting clerk Monicah Muthami in handling the impeachment.
In the letter addressed to ousted clerk Jacob Ngwele, Mr Kinyanjui said a court order dated 0ctober 2019 gave conservatory orders stating that Ngwele remains the clerk of the assembly.
This is until a matter involving him (Ngwele) and the assembly is determined.
According to the Standing Orders, the office of the clerk is responsible for the verification of signatures appended on a petition in favour of an impeachment motion.
The clerk is also mandated to notify the governor of an impeachment motion against him, and request him to reply to it. Elachi had however insisted that Ms Muthami was in office legally.
Additional reporting by Josphat Thiong’o
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