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Sackings, threats define Sonko’s two years as governor

Wednesday August 21 2019

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko who, on August 21, 2019, marks two years since he came into office. His tenure has been marked by intrigues and drama. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

COLLINS OMULO
By COLLINS OMULO
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Today (Wednesday) marks two years since Mr Mike Mbuvi Sonko came into office as the second governor of Nairobi City County.

But his tenure so far has been defined by instability, characterised by constant reshuffles, suspensions, sackings, constant falling-out, operating without a deputy governor, unleashing recordings of other leaders and rarely operating from his City Hall office.

Four top officials have been sent home since Mr Sonko came into office.

They include former Finance executive Danvas Makori, former County Secretary Peter Kariuki, former County Attorney Lydia Kwamboka and former Health chief officer Mahat Jimale.

BREATHING FIRE

There have also been a number of other suspensions of county officials.

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In public events and through his social media posts, the governor has been breathing fire and threatening to send home more officers but with little result despite “receiving intelligence on those working with his enemies as well as officers looting the county”.

The governor has also carried out at least five Cabinet reshuffles with most of his executives having served in at least two dockets since being sworn in with the Finance and Lands departments turned into revolving doors.

NO DEPUTY

Since falling out with former deputy governor Polycarp Igathe in December 2017, the post has remained vacant even after Mr Sonko released a list of possible candidates, insisting that his next deputy will be a woman.

“I am still waiting for a pending legislation in the Senate to amend the County Governments Act to appoint a deputy governor,” said Mr Sonko last week.

Also, the county secretary’s position still has no substantive holder.

PHONE CONVERSATIONS

Embattled Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo and a number of other individuals have had their private phone conversation recordings exposed by the City Hall boss.

Mr Sonko also fell out with former Education executive Janet Ouko with the disagreement between the two even ending up in court.

The ghost of his enemies constantly being after him has also been a constant fixture and, last week, he gave his Cabinet a dress-down during a meeting with MCAs in Mombasa accusing some of them of “working with his enemies to finish him politically”.

INFORMERS

“People who are working with their informers and are after my downfall have planted things at my City Hall office and that is why I am operating from Upper Hill.

“I am very sharp and I will not fall into the trap. I am just waiting for my death, you will never fix me. I have served jail sentence and nothing fazes me,” he said.

PROMISES

At the same time, promises of mega projects have not been fulfilled two years since Governor Sonko came into office.

They include a power plant at the Dandora dumpsite, taming of matatu madness and decongesting Nairobi’s city centre, relocation of hawkers and tackling the garbage menace in the city.

City Hall has also not managed to meet revenue targets.

Despite the failings that have punctuated the second City Hall regime, a beautification programme – which has seen key highways improved by planting flowers, grass and trees – has stuck out as a successful flagship project.

SCHOOL MILK

There was also the introduction of free Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) programme in June last year as well as a partnership with Brookside Dairy that saw the county introduce a free milk programme to the children.

The health sector has also undergone tremendous growth where heath facilities have been upgraded and a one-of-a-kind human milk bank with installed pasteurizer that can hold 9.4 million litres, two fridges and four freezers with a 240-litre capacity installed at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital.

UPGRADED

The hospital has also been upgraded to enhance maternal care, increasing the number of deliveries, equipped with a cold room, a new surgical ward, a new theatre, modern bathrooms with hot showers for the expectant and new mothers and an upgrade of its bed capacity.

Also, Mbagathi Hospital received a renal unit and acquired five ultra-modern dialysis machines and a new maternity wing is currently being put up.

In the road sector, several estate roads have been re-carpeted and there are at least 58 ongoing projects fully funded by the county and 38 roads under the Nairobi Regeneration Project where the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) has been playing a leading role.

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