Nairobi reshuffle: Sonko fires 2, reinstates 'super CEC' Charles Kerich

Wednesday March 18 2020
By COLLINS OMULO

'Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has reshuffled his Cabinet yet again, sacking two executives and reinstating ''super CEC'' Charles Kerich.

Sonko has fired Finance executive Pauline Kahiga, who returned to the office days ago after a tussle with MCAs who wanted to remove her, and Agriculture executive Winfred Gathagu.

Suspended executives Charles Kerich and Mohamed Dagane have made a comeback after more than three months.

KAHIGA'S FIGHT

Mr Kerich returns to the Lands and Housing docket, which he held before he was suspended over the Precious Talents School tragedy in September 2019.

Ms Kahiga held the Lands docket, alongside Finance, when Mr Kerich was suspended.

The finance department will now be headed by Mr Allan Igambi, who MCAs earlier forced to take over the office.

Ms Kahiga returned to the office last Friday after Government Press CEO Mwenda Njoka rejected a notice signed by acting County Secretary Leboo Morintat which indicated she had been degazetted and Mr Igambi appointed in an acting capacity.

Mr Dagane has been moved to the Roads, Transport and Public Works department. Prior to his suspension alongside Mr Kerich, he was at the helm of the Health docket.

RETAINED

Environment and Water CEC Vesca Kangogo has been moved to Devolution and Public Service Management.

Ms Kangogo swaps places with Larry Wambua, who has been heading the Devolution docket.

Mr Wambua has previously been at the helm of the Environment department.

Newton Munene retains the ICT and E-government docket while Lucia Mulwa takes over the Education and Sports department. 

Governor Sonko has also retained Leboo Morintat as County Secretary, Lydia Kwamboka as County Attorney and Peter Kamau Mugo as Chief of Staff.

NEW ENTRANTS

Joining the Cabinet, if they survive vetting, will be former Nairobi Woman Representative aspirant Karen Nyamu and George Fredrick Omogi.

Ms Nyamu, a lawyer, will take over the Agriculture docket and Mr Omogi the Trade and Cooperatives department, which Mr Igambi headed.

Hitan Majevdia, who has been heading the Transport department, has been moved to the Health docket which he held before his suspension in 2018.

COURT RULING

Sonko's changes come hot on the heels of a court ruling over Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal's Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Lenolkulal made changes in April and November 2019, but Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji objected and sought to have him detained for failing to obey a court order that barred him from accessing his office.
State Counsel Wesley Nyamache, in an affidavit, argued that the governor was in contempt of court and thus should be punished for reshuffling his Cabinet.

But on Thursday, Senior Principal Magistrate Thomas Nzioka noted that the governor was barred from physically accessing his office and the county government accounts until his Sh84.6 million corruption case is concluded.

Mr Nzioka explained that the interpretation of ''access to office'' cannot be stretched to include suspension of duties, except in express instances where the governor is prohibited by bail terms.

Reached for comment on the Nairobi reshuffle, Director of Communications Elkana Jacob said: "The document is legitimate. The governor has made changes to his Cabinet."