Kenya: Normalcy Resumes As Pauline Kahiga Returns to City's Finance Office

27 January 2020

Business has resumed at City Hall's finance office with Pauline Kahiga taking back control after her brief ouster by MCAs last week.

The stalemate had threatened to throw Nairobi County into another crisis, with a push and pull over who should occupy the office taking centre stage.

The finance department is at the heart of any county's operations as the office holder must signs for expenses.

KAHIGA'S REPORT

Ms Kahiga confirmed that she resumed her duties as Finance executive last Friday.

"All is well and the office is wide open. I will continue discharging my duties in the department," she said.

"I saw the statement from the Government Printer. I was very clear and in tandem with what I earlier said - that an acting county secretary cannot perform duties meant to be carried out by the governor."

CHAOS

Last week, a section of MCAs and rowdy youths stormed Ms Kahiga's office to forcefully evict her, claiming she was there illegally.

They forcefully installed Trade Executive Allan Igambi as the Finance executive.

This was after a December 13, 2019 Gazette notice, signed by acting County Secretary Leboo Morintat, indicated she had been degazetted Mr Igambi appointed in acting capacity.

The notice stated that Ms Kahiga's last day in the office should have been December 5, 2019.

She contested the validity of her degazettement, arguing Governor Mike Sonko could make such a change.

REPRIEVE

Ms Kahiga was later reprieved by the Government Press chief executive officer's rejection of the notice.

Mr Mwenda Njoka termed the notice illegal and said Mr Igambi's appointment was irregular .

He also noted that the duty to appoint solely rests with the governor as stipulated in section 35 of County Government Act number 17 and article 179 of the Constitution.

Further, the Constitution does not envisage appointment of a substantive officer by a person serving in acting capacity and section 44 of the County Government Act specifies the role of the county secretary as communicating, not appointing.

"We note that the county secretary is acting and cannot therefore make the substantive appointment of a CEC," he added in the letter.,

He copied Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, his Interior counterpart Fred Matiang'i, Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge, Controller of Budget and Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi.

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