Inside Sakaja's Sh340m boroughs to shift power from City Hall

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

For decades, City Hall has been the centre of power where Nairobi residents flock for services and licenses.

Owing to that, the iconic landmark building in the city centre which has hosted several mayors and governors has been a hive of activity during the weekdays.

With time, it became hard for some people to be assisted in some departments unless you know someone or part with a kickback to motivate some county officers to offer services.

The county is now in the final stages of decentralizing power from the pre-colonial building to estates in what has been fashioned as Administrative Boroughs.

Governor Johnson Sakaja plans to set up six boroughs across the county to be overseen by the Borough Manager.

The establishment of boroughs was part of the deliberation of the County Cabinet meeting chaired by the governor on January 10.

“The administration intends to decentralize county public service through the creation of Administrative Boroughs,” the statement from the Cabinet meeting reads in part.

Acting County Chief Officer for Borough and Sub County Administration Lydia Mathia revealed that the project was allocated Sh340 million in the last budget.

Mathia noted that Sh100 million will go towards setting up the centres and Sh40 million to acquire vehicles that will be used by borough managers in the first phase.

“This will shift the power from City Hall closer to the people for easy service delivery instead of city residents coming all the way to the City centre,” she said.

Initially, people would go to City Hall seeking to meet a Chief Officer or Director but the boroughs will have an office and representative.

“For instance, people should not be coming all the way to seek sewer flushing services, people will be stationed on the ground so that wherever they are needed to unblock a sewerage in Ruai they will be around,” Mathia explained.

The Chief Officer said the first three Borough Administrative centres will be put up around Mama Lucy Kibika Hospital, Kasarani and Ruai in the first phase.

According to the dispatch from Sakaja’s Cabinet meeting, the Eastern Borough will cover Eastlands including Embakasi Central, Embakasi West and Embakasi North Sub counties.

Its centre will be domiciled at Embakasi Central at the Deputy County Commissioner’s quarters.

The southeastern borough will include Embakasi South, Embakasi East, and Makadara sub-counties and its centre will be in Makadara.

The headquarters for Southern Borough will be at Joseph Kangethe in Kibra and will cover Kibra and Lang’ata sub-counties.

At the city centre Starehe, Kamukunji, and Mathare sub-counties will make up the Central borough.

The Northern Borough will consist of Kasarani, Roysambu and Ruaraka sub-counties with its headquarters located at Gatharaini grounds in Kasarani.

The Western Borough which includes Westlands, Dagoretti North and Dagoretti South sub-counties will have its headquarters either at Waruku or Kawangware.

Initially, the County wanted to have five boroughs, however, a technical committee task force on the establishment of boroughs recommended having an additional one to make them six.