Kenya: 'Handshake' Honeymoon Over As MCAs Turn Heat on Badi, Kananu

The unity at the Nairobi County Assembly is now at stake with the county MCAs seemingly pulling in different directions, a move that could put to test the "handshake" peace.

This is after opposition ward representatives turned the heat on Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and City Hall over the use of funds allocated to the two entities.

Led by Minority Leader Michael Ogada and Minority Whip Peter Imwatok, the MCAs are now demanding accountability over funds allocated to NMS by the county assembly.

On the part of the county executive, the county legislators have given the acting Governor Ann Kananu seven days to crack the whip on incompetent officers or face the music.

The MCAs have accused NMS boss Major General Mohamed Badi and the county executive of having nothing to show despite Sh1 billion being allocated to them by the county assembly and other resources received from the national government to fight Covid-19.

They said no single output in terms of medical and economic support has been delivered yet Nairobi residents continue to suffer while those in charge have remained silent.

"We are therefore left to believe that these funds have been misused. We, therefore demand that relevant state agencies take appropriate action against persons who may have squandered these funds," said Mr Ogada.

The MCAs also found fault with delays in payment of contractors and suppliers despite a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to pay pending bills to all small-scale traders to a tune of Sh1.3 billion.

"As a minority party, we will not sit down and see our people suffer. We demand that these leaders and officers immediately stop this old habit and allow systems to work," he said.

The MCAs said despite changes that have been made at the county executive, City Hall is sliding back to the old ways, accusing some assembly and executive leaders of demanding kickbacks from contractors and suppliers before they are paid.

Mr Imwatok alleged ethnicisation of the Nairobi County Public Service Board by external forces hell-bent on influencing its processes, particularly in the recruitment process.

He said Ms Kananu should be given an opportunity to realign her administration to improve performance at the county government and block cartels from taking over at City Hall.

"Kananu has seven days to ring changes in her cabinet failure to which we will take stern action once normal business resumes in the assembly," said the Makongeni MCA.

They also reminded NMS to make sure development is spread across all the wards in the capital city, saying they are becoming disillusioned by the development record of the entity.

"We gave this entity Sh29 billion for development and nothing seems to be working. There is only two months remaining before the end of the financial year yet there is nothing in the wards in terms of development," said Mr Ogada.

"Mr Badi must be told that Nairobi County is not just the CBD or three slums. We have 85 wards in Nairobi and we need to see service delivery in all those wards and not theatrics," he added.

However, Majority Leader Abdi Guyo defended NMS asking his colleagues to concentrate on legislation and allow NMS and the county executive do their work.

"I am supporting NMS as they are doing a wonderful job. I know some of the MCAs are not happy because there are no kickbacks in NMS," he said.

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