Atwoli defends Sakaja amid growing criticism

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja during Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Nairobi County Governor Johnson Sakaja has faced mounting criticism from the political spectrum in recent days, alleging mismanagement of the city.

Leaders have described Nairobi as experiencing its worst leadership crisis at City Hall, with promises of orderly, dignified, and inclusive governance during campaigns giving way to disappointment.

But Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has stepped in to defend the County boss, saying he has known him from a young age, and that he only needs time.

“We must create channels that we can be able to communicate to him (Sakaja) on issues around informal sectors in Nairobi without throwing stones at him.”

Speaking during the 59th Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi, Atwolli averred that whether one’s position does not match his performance, leaders should learn how to address the matters amicably without attacking one another.

He advocated for constructive dialogue rather than attacks and emphasized the need for channels to communicate with Sakaja regarding issues affecting informal sectors in Nairobi without resorting to hostility.

In his defense,  Sakaja attributed the criticism to a political witch hunt aimed at diverting attention from the county's progress.

He dismissed the attacks as commonplace in politics, asserting his administration's commitment to its work despite distractions.

“I saw my father Atwoli saying he is in pain for seeing his son publicly attacked. I want to tell him the attacks are political and very normal. These are the kinds of things that happen in politics,” said Sakaja.

 “Some people want us to lose focus on the work we have done and continue to do in this city. We will not lose focus. We know what needs to be done and we are aware of the progress we are making.”

The two spoke during the 59th Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.