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Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero forms task force to prevent wastage in legal fees

By Cyrus Ombati
NAIROBI, KENYA: The County Government of Nairobi has formed a task force to audit and examine the delivery of its legal services and report within four months. 

The task force to be chaired by city lawyer Jinaro Kibet has been tasked to audit all ongoing legal cases with respect to the legal fees demanded by the advocates from the County Government and advise Governor Evans Kidero on the way forward. 

Kidero said that the team will seek to determine the reasons for the unusual high number of cases against the defunct City Council of Nairobi and recommend any change in the management of the affairs of the County to minimize litigation and legal disputes involving the city government. 

"City Hall has lost virtually all cases annually despite hiring reputable teams of law firms to argue out numerous cases lodged against us for various reasons," he said. 

He said he wants to get to the bottom of the problem where millions of shillings has been paid out to lawyers yet they do not see results.

City Hall is indebted to about Sh1.5 billion in respect to fee notes. 

Most of the cases they have lost emanate from various departments including City Planning Department on land issues, City Inspectorate and City Engineers department. 

Others are from the Treasury Department where suppliers and contractors have moved to court seeking payment for goods and services delivered and not yet paid. 

There are suspicion of collusion between staff and litigants to fleece City Hall through dubious representation and arguments to defeat justice at the expense of the County Government. 

City Hall has a fully fledged legal department headed by the Director,  Karisa Iha with a string of advocates on its payroll.

Kidero also directed the task force to further peruse any past report on the delivery of legal services to the city government by other public agencies and recommend implementation strategies of their recommendations. 

It is also required to recommend the considerations to be taken into account in the procurement of legal services so as to ensure equity to service providers, implementation of the constitutional and other government policy pronouncements on procurement and the optimum value from service providers. 

The secretary to the task force is Dr. Festo Fadamula, Kidero's political advisor, assisted by lawyer Paul Aol. 

City lawyer Gad Awuonda, Legal Advisor, Office of the Governor,  Charles Mutinda from the Attorney General and Appolo Mboya from the Law Society of Kenya are also in the team. 

Others are Mercy Kamau-County Executive Committee member for Public Service Management, Robi Vincent Sarara from the Commission on Administrative Justice, Jacob Ngwele, Clerk, the Nairobi County Assembly, Anthony Ongondi from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Frederick Riaga-Member, nominated by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants.