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Sonko in trouble as Nairobi MPs gang against him

By Roselyne Obala | November 22nd 2019

A section of MPs and Senators led by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja addressing the media on the dossier in Nairobi County at Parliament on November 21, 2019. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Nairobi MPs want an audit to be done on Governor Mike Sonko’s administration, citing alleged mismanagement and corruption.

Speaking yesterday, the legislators from across the political divide said City Hall is experiencing extreme mismanagement and it is high time the trend stops.

They also absolved MCAs from a certain degree of blame, noting the hostile environment they are currently operating in.

Further, they affirmed their confidence in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), which is presently investigating a number of graft cases at City Hall, and urged it to hasten the probe.

Led by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, the lawmakers argued that as elected leaders, it is expected of them to speak out against ills facing the city.

Mr Sakaja said leaders cannot sit back and watch as City Hall sinks further into the abyss of mismanagement, anarchy and disorder.

“It is a tragedy of untold proportions. As we speak, the Nairobi City County is mortally ill. It has one foot in the grave; suffering the triple calamity of a governor with no substantive deputy, a non-functional executive and an assembly in shambles,” said Sakaja.

The leaders noted that a non-functional executive, nepotism, bullying and intimidation by the Executive has left MCAs with their hands tied behind their backs; being powerless to do much.

Makadara MP George Aladwa noted that since elections, City MPs have never met to dialogue over the welfare of the city.

“We all have a direct mandate from the electorate. No one is holding brief for another. Those who have stayed away or ducked this meeting are safeguarding personal interests,” Aladwa said.

Those who attended the meeting are Sakaja, Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), Aladwa, Nixon Korir (Langata), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Tim Wanyonyi (Westlands), Imran Okoth (Kibra), Antony Oluoch (Mathare) and Benjamin Mwangi (Embakasi Central).

Those who did not attend are Charles Njagua (Starehe), Yusuf Hassan (Kamukunji), Mercy Gakuya, (Kasarani), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South), T.J Kajwang (Ruaraka) and George Theuri (Embakasi West).

Others are Babu Owino (Embakasi East) and Ndirangu Waihenya (Roysambu).

Mr Arati said some of Sonko's moves were intended to divert attention on issues facing the county.

“This matter is very weighty. We want to take these issues to the doorstep of the governor, said  Arati.

The MPs criticised Sonko for not respecting the law by failing to appoint a deputy.

“The inability for Nairobi City County to operate is occasioned by among other issues the fact that the executive is not properly constituted. The county government is operating without a deputy governor,” said Sakaja.

Mr Korir criticised the governor for engaging 6,000 young people in different jobs and failing to pay them.

“The entire physical planning team was suspended. The county is at a standstill,” said Korir.

The MPs cited key areas they want the audit to focus on: breach of procurement laws, questionable hiring methods and health care.

Sakaja said in the 2017-18 financial year, the county received Sh15.40 billion from the Exchequer, Sh 817.36 million in conditional grants and raised revenue amounting to Sh10.1 billion.

However, he said, despite all this money, Nairobi is still experiencing poor services.

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