Kenya: City MPs Accuse Mike Sonko of Running Down Nairobi

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (file photo).
21 November 2019

The political differences between Nairobi leaders senator Johnson Sakaja and governor Mike Sonko has bubbled into the open.

The senator Thursday led nine MPs from Nairobi in accusing the governor of presiding over a dysfunctional executive characterised by gung-ho tactics and called for a comprehensive forensic audit of all monies allocated to the county in the last financial years - 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.

But in a quick rejoinder, MCAs dashed to the defence of the governor and accused the senator of playing politics in his attacks. They claimed the Mr Sakaja has failed to facilitate any policy to the benefit of Nairobi County during the two years he has been a senator.

On Thursday, Mr Sakaja and the nine MPs said the county government has failed to deliver the critical services enumerated as county functions including health, water, sewage and sanitation, estate and feeder roads, physical planning, early childhood education among others.

"As MPs we would like to absolve our MCAs from a certain degree of blame understanding the difficult and hostile environment that they are operating in," Mr Sakaja said during a press conference in at Parliament buildings.

The MPs claimed that Mr Sonko is running a non-functional executive, full of nepotism, insults, bullying characterised by intimidation and even physical assault.

"The destruction of personal property by the county executive has left MCAs with their hands tied behind their backs limited on service delivery to their electorate," Mr Sakaja said.

The MPs said the audits should establish the county roads projects for the last three financial years, who was awarded the contracts, for how much, status of completion and the ward or constituency where the road is located.

They also want a probe on all medical machines and equipment purchased under the government, county purchase or procurement agreement, the hospitals in Nairobi that have benefited and status of the equipment.

They also want an audit of all monies spent to equip all level one to four hospitals in Nairobi with medicines and non-pharmaceutical purchases for the last three financial years and the total amount spent on each constituency for infrastructure development of all dispensaries and hospitals.

An audit of monies allocated and where spent for all water and sewerage plants per constituency and the general status of water sewerage in Nairobi for the last three financial years.

Other areas they want probed include whether the County has engaged the services of over 6,000 youth who are not under any contract but are paid through the county suspense account.

The said youths, the MPs claimed, are also misused by the political class to cause mayhem and inflict injury on any dissenting voice whenever the county leadership feel threatened.

The MPs further claimed that a company known as Noveta was single sourced to perform the critical duty of revenue collection on behalf of the county government after Mr Sonko terminated the Jambo Pay revenue contract.

The contract for the refurbishment of the Pumwani Maternity was single sourced and grossly inflated by over Sh80million to enable the lining of the pockets of some people at City Hall.

At the county assembly, the MCAs, drawn from both sides of the aisle, said they read malice in the attacks by the senator saying the governor has initiated projects across the county including in infrastructure and health.

On pending bills, AAR contract and revenue, the MCAs said most of the pending bills were inherited from the other regimes and Sonko had little to do with them. They also declared that the governor does not deal with tendering to have contracted Noveta to collect revenue on behalf of the county.

"We want to urge our fellow leaders not to use their positions to intimidate county leaders or frustrate devolution. Nairobi will not succeed through fighting the governor but fighting with the governor as we all have one common interest of Nairobi residents," said nominated MCA Millicent Jagero while reading the joint statement.

The MCAs further accused Mr Sakaja of having never brought any policy to the benefit of Nairobi County yet he is the senator.

"The role of a senator is to ensure that funds have been allocated to the counties and policies brought before the Senate. Why is it that Sakaja has never brought any policy or followed up on any policy to ensure that Nairobi is running the way he is purporting he wants it to run."

They challenged the Nairobi leaders to also come clean on the projects the Sh109 million they are getting every year through Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by giving a breakdown of how the kitty has been used.

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