Kenya: Nairobi MCAs Bark Angrily at Senators Over Sonko Summons

Nairobi MCAs have castigated the Senate for overstretching its mandate by taking over some of the oversight responsibilities of the County Assembly.

Led by majority leader Abdi Guyo and his minority counterpart Elias Otieno, the ward representatives argued that the Senate has usurped powers of the County Assembly by summoning Governor Mike Sonko to appear before it.

On Monday, the Senate Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations invited the city governor to appear before it today to answer to queries over his 'one-man show' style of leadership.

The county legislators criticized the Senate's committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations for summoning Governor Sonko to appear before it on Wednesday to defend his style of leadership and explain why he has not appointed a deputy governor more than a year since the resignation of former DG Polycarp Igathe.

"Why is the Senate trying to take over the mandate of the County Assembly by trying to do the work of the county assembly which is supposed to ensure that the governor appoints a deputy?" posed Mr Guyo on Tuesday.

He told off the senators for meddling in City Hall affairs saying that not having a deputy governor has not in any way affected the operations at the capital city.

On his part, Mr Otieno pointed out that the City Hall boss had already signaled his intentions of appointing a new deputy by shortlisting four women as candidates for the DG position and all that was remaining was the tabling of the names at the Assembly.

The Kileleshwa Ward MCA added that the Nairobi MCAs are up to the task of oversighting the county executive within the parameters stipulated in the law.

"As the Assembly, we are willing and able to perform our oversight role on the governor as stipulated by the law and once the governor nominates his deputy through the delegated committees we will be able to give our input on the same," said Mr Otieno.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja also drew the ire of the ward representatives who urged him to ensure that the Senate sticks to more pressing issues affecting Nairobi residents instead of getting sucked into 'petty issues.'

The swipe comes after Mr Sakaja had raised concerns on the manner in which Governor Sonko was running Nairobi County affairs, which, he said, was hampering service delivery in the city.

He further criticized the City Hall boss for failing to respect an advisory by the Supreme Court which said that Governors should within 14 days nominate new deputies to replace those who have resigned or are impeached.

"We respect Mr Sakaja as a leader but he should let us carry out our mandate. He should dedicate more of his time in ensuring that Nairobi County government is getting adequate funding from the National Government but not fighting the Governor," said the Matopeni MCA.

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