2 January 2018

Kenya: Nairobians Waiting to See If Ward Reps Will Deliver

All eyes will be on the second Nairobi County Assembly after voters reversed roles in House leadership following the August 8, 2017 elections.

In the last county government led by former Governor Evans Kidero, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) enjoyed the majority position in the House and TNA (later Jubilee Party) the minority.

This has since changed after the last elections saw the Jubilee Party take over as the majority and ODM (under Nasa coalition) as the minority.

The change saw leadership positions interchanged as former majority leader Elias Otieno was relegated to the minority leader's position, while the former minority leader, Abdi Guyo, became majority leader.


Former chief whip David Mbera was replaced by Makongeni MCA Peter Imwatok who will serve as the minority chief whip following internal wrangles in the party, while Ngara MCA Mwaura Chege has taken over as the majority chief whip from Hashim Kamau.

Jubilee Party has 65 members against Nasa's 58 and by virtue of that they will enjoy the privilege of passing or blocking any decision as they wish even when it goes against Nairobi residents' interests.

Speaking to the Nation, the majority chief whip said that the assembly has not been active following the prolonged electioneering period.

"The assembly has not been robust as Nairobians would have wished in the first quarter but expect things to change since elections are over as we ensure that the government delivers on its manifesto," said Mr Chege.

He said that during their days on the minority side, they took the county government task on key issues and when it failed they even brought an impeachment motion against Governor Kidero although it go through.


Mr Chege said in the previous assembly, they pushed the executive to implement some infrastructural development projects besides issuing of bursaries.

However, the ability of Nasa MCAs to play an effective oversight role and keep Governor Mike Sonko's administration on its toes has been questioned after they approved all the ten executive members despite evidence that some did not reach the requisite qualifications.

But Mr Imwatok, the minority chief whip, has denied claims that they are failing to put the county administration on check, stating that they have nobody to oversight since the government is incomplete.

"Whom do you oversight? So far we do not have a county secretary, who is the accounting officer, and chief officers who are departmental accounting officers. What we have is the governor and his deputy and CECs who are just policy makers," said Mr Imwatok.

He added that the opposition should not be judged to have supported the executive just because they attended an end-of-year staff party at Charter Hall and the lighting of the Nairobi City Christmas tree at KICC.

Mr Imwatok said they attended the ceremonies after invitation by the executive through the speaker and that this had nothing to do with their mandate in the assembly.


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