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Sonko’s bitter letter to Uhuru on City Hall wars

By Roselyne Obala and Josphat Thiong’o | Nov 13th 2019 | 3 min read

Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju meets Nairobi MCAs during a party forum. [File]

A letter Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has penned to President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed the grim leadership crisis at City Hall.

The letter dated November 8, and copied to Deputy President William Ruto and Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, request the intervention of the party in the City Hall leadership wars that now threatens to spiral out of control.

The vicious wars fronted by ousted Assembly’s Majority Leader Abdi Guyo and his Minority counterpart Elias Otieno, have also swallowed in assembly clerk Jacob Ngwele.

Ngwele is a member of the County Assembly Public Service Board (CAPSB).

The internal strife is said to be so bad that the Jubilee party and Raila Odinga’s ODM joined forces to have both Mr Guyo and Mr Otien replaced. Otieno and Guyo have challenged their respective parties’ decision to oust them in court.

An MCAs caucus held on October 30 in Mombasa, attended by 40 members, resolved to replace all senior assembly officials.

New team

On the Jubilee side, Tuju yesterday named MCA Charles Thuo Wakarindi as the Majority Leader replacing Guyo and Millicent Mugadi as the Deputy Majority Leader, replacing James Kiriba. Nominated MCA June Ndegwa was appointed as the Majority Whip, replacing Chege Mwaura and Hassan Abdullahi as the Deputy Majority Whip, replacing Waithera Chege from the position.

Sources told The Standard that ODM is in the process of changing its assembly leadership. Apart from replacing Otieno as the minority leader, the party also intends to appoint Peter Imwatok as the minority Chief whip and Moses Ogeto as the deputy minority chief whip.

Sonko’s letter to Uhuru stresses that it was only through a radical overhaul of Jubilee team at the assembly that will enable him to subdue the power and money wars at City Hall.

“With the new team, I will be able to swim even in the deep end where vested interests run even deeper. With the old confrontational leadership, I was being forced to swim with my hands and legs tied. That could not have been the intent and spirit of the separation of powers,” explained Sonko in the letter.

He continues: “We must not waste time in squabbles on party leadership at the assembly, instead of delivering service that the great people of Nairobi voted me for.”

The governor noted that Guyo is part of a court case challenging the decision of the party concerning a decision to appoint Mark Ndung’u as a member of the CAPSB.

“It is obvious through this case, there is a brazen display of arrogance and a sinister motive on the part of the former Majority leader to have a stranglehold on the affairs of the governance of Nairobi entirely within his sphere of influence,” Sonko writes of Guyo.

Service board

He recalls that  Guyo was the minority leader between 2013 and 2017 under  former governor, Evans Kidero, while Otieno was the majority leader, and both sat in the key service board.

They only switched positions after 2017 polls.

“The ferocity with which Guyo and Otieno are fighting to remain in this board through a court process raises  suspicion of entrenched vested interests,” he notes: 

Sonko opined that he has every right to demand a change in the Jubilee assembly leadership because he is the ‘senior-most elected jubilee official in the county’.

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