Kenya: I Am Cleaning Up the Mess in Nairobi - General Badi

27 September 2020

In November, Nairobi will be a city with a new look, with several new bus termini connecting transport routes to the city, BRT buses and light trains, which will help ease traffic congestion.

Not a single matatu will be allowed into the city centre.

The city will also have 24 new hospitals in slums, including Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, which will be upgraded to a level five referral facility.

This vision, according to Major-General Mohamed Badi, Director-General of Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), will be realised.

Major-General Badi was appointed to rectify the misdeeds of Governor Mike Sonko and Nairobi's former leaders.

"I saw a lot of suffering in the city especially in informal settlements. It's my duty to deliver. I am not looking for votes. I have taken this as a national duty," the Major-General said in an interview broadcast by NTV.

The interview in which Mr Badi described how leaders let down the city received condemnation from Governor Sonko.

"Do your work as President Uhuru Kenyatta advised you. I never failed anywhere. This was a partnership programme for Nairobians to continue enjoying service delivery as I deal with my court cases. This is not a military takeover," the city boss said.

Political interference

The NMS boss says that at times politicians interfere with the agency's work.

"When politicians see you serving common citizens, they think that you are cutting down their influence. I have no [problem] with Governor Sonko. I am doing this job on his behalf," he said.

While acknowledging challenges in fixing a rotten city, Major-General Badi said he has dedicated all his time to working for the people of Nairobi.

"I was sworn-in in the afternoon and started working that night. I work on all days of the week, from 7am, and I get home past 9pm. Within the first 200 days in office, we have managed to achieve over 100 per cent of what we intended to," he said.

Plans actualising

The NMS boss clarified that cross-cutting issues, such as those relating to finance and administration, were solved following the recent court ruling which stated that the NMS was constitutionally created.

"There was a judgement for me to take over all the four functions after the court ruling. I am now focused on my work. When it is done, the common citizen will not care whether it was done by a member of the disciplined forces or a civilian," he said.

Major-General Badi said he is actualising plans that have existed on paper for several years.

"I inherited the plans which had never been implemented," he said, adding that in the plan to have an extra 24 hospitals in the city, NMS is constructing 19 new facilities.

"We will have 18 new ICU beds at Mama Lucy hospital and 10 at Mbagathi. The 24 facilities will create at least 400 jobs in the medical profession," he said.

Water shortages

The official added that NMS bought 22 water browsers for use in the supply of water in the city as they seek long term solutions for persistent water shortages.

"Together with the Water ministry, we have dug 193 boreholes. Once complete, the Northern Corridor water project will help lessen the burden in the city," he said, noting that although there is enough water, the supporting infrastructure was ineffective.

As part of the city makeover, the new bus termini will have facilities such as eateries and washrooms and the Nairobi Railway Station will be renamed Railway City.

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