Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has received the backing of Azimio leaders following his differences with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

Siaya Governor James Orengo and his Kakamega counterpart Fernandes Barasa have urged the DP to allow Sakaja serve Nairobi residents.

The two governors spoke during the commemoration of the late father of former presidential aspirant George Wajackoya in Indangalasia, Matungu-sub county, Kakamega County.

“I want to join my colleagues to warn Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua that he must respect the Constitution. Governor Sakaja is in charge of Nairobi County and he is the one given the mandate by Nairobians to govern affairs of the city,” Mr Barasa said.

“Let him (Sakaja) work without interference, the Constitution is clear on functions of the counties. We are distinct on matters governance, so let Sakaja serve the people of Nairobi. We must respect each other as national and county governments,” he added.

Barasa said governors have mandate from people to deliver on their manifesto and they should work independently.


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Gachagua had told Sakaja to be consulting before making key decisions on business in Nairobi.

At the same time, the Nairobi governor is at loggerheads with UDA ward reps who have accused him of favouring their Azimio counterparts.

This emerged during the appointment and vetting of Chief Officers and County Executives, where the majority are said to be from ODM and some from the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Service.

Orengo told Gachagua to stop directing Sakaja on how to run the city.

“The Deputy President is wrong, he is misbehaving. The leader of Nairobi city is my brother Johnson Sakaja, a brave young man and he received votes from all people. If there is a problem in Nairobi, it should be the President to talk to Sakaja, not his deputy,” Orengo said.

He said the Constitution establishes two levels of government which are distinct and the Nairobi governor cannot be forced to do some things to please some people.

Orengo said the law requires both levels of government to conduct affairs with respect and mutual cooperation.

The Azimio governors were reacting to the spat between the DP and Sakaja over relocation of long distance matatus from the city centre to Green Park terminus.

Some political observers however argue that the Nairobi governor's problems may have been triggered by claims that he could be working closely with Azimio MCAs, who are the majority in the assembly for survival.

“Sakaja has less numbers in the assembly but the most important is for Nairobians to get quality services,” political analyst Phillip Chebunet noted

“Consultation should be his Commandment number one. He should engage the assembly and consult his party leadership,” Chebunet added.