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National government takes over Nairobi leadership

By Jael Mboga | February 25th 2020 at 06:16:08 GMT +0300

Key functions of the Nairobi County Government have been handed over to the National Government.

In a deal signed at State House today, Governor Mike Sonko (pictured) and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa in concurrence with President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to ensure Nairobi residents receive services efficiently. 

The statement by State House spokesperson Kanze Dena further stated that the National Government now takes over Health, Transport, Public Works and Planning and Development services.

Signing of the agreement, pursuant to Article 187 of the Constitution, was also witnessed by  Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and Attorney General Paul Kihara.  

The move comes as a breakthrough in the running of county services that had ground to a halt.

What the law says

187. Transfer of functions and powers between levels of government
Chapter Eleven - Devolved Government  Part 3. Functions and powers of county governments  
 
(1) A function or power of government at one level may be transferred to a government at the other level by agreement between the governments if--
 
(a) the function or power would be more effectively performed or exercised by the receiving government; and
 
(b) the transfer of the function or power is not prohibited by the legislation under which it is to be performed or exercised.
 
(2) If a function or power is transferred from a government at one level to a government at the other level--
 
(a) arrangements shall be put in place to ensure that the resources necessary for the performance of the function or exercise of the power are transferred; and
 
(b) constitutional responsibility for the performance of the function or exercise of the power shall remain with the government to which it is assigned by the Fourth Schedule.

Impeachment woes

On February 21, ODM ward representatives tabled a notice of motion as the process to impeach Sonko started.

The MCAs listed 16 grounds for removal of the governor, including abuse of office and irregular procurement of services.

These include irregular awarding of a Sh1.5 billion tender for construction stadia, among them Dandora Stadium.

Sonko has also been accused of unilaterally sacking of staff through social media without fair hearing and failing to name a deputy governor despite an advisory by the Supreme Court.

The governor's efforts to avoid a leadership vacuum in the county further hit a snag when the High Court barred the Nairobi County Assembly from vetting his Deputy Governor nominee, Anne Kananu.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi gave the orders until a case by a petitioner, Peter Agoro, is determined.

Agoro moved to court arguing that the nomination amounts to “a direct affront to the orders issued against the governor in December last year”.

Sonko nominated Kananu on January 6 to fill the position occupied by Polycarp Igathe, who resigned in January 2018.

Acting Nairobi County Secretary Leboo Morintat in January took over operations at City Hall following Sonko's prosecution over the alleged loss of Sh357 million.

The move came barely four days after the county assembly called on the national government to provide assistance in the running of county affairs, citing the leadership vacuum as a precursor to poor service delivery by the executive.

Corridors of justice

On January 16, Sonko suffered a setback after the High Court declined to stop the hearing of the graft case filed against him.

He faulted the State for preferring charges and investigating him, claiming bias and vested interests by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officers.

In the case, Sonko is fighting the agency’s probe into whether he was involved in suspected irregular construction of Dandora Stadium at Sh350 million and suspected loss of Sh160 million in a garbage collection contract.

The agency is also probing Sonko on claims that he may have faked his self-declaration form in the run-up to the 2017 General Election.


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