Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has once again opened another war of words with his Nairobi counterpart Mike Sonko.
Governor Waititu on Sunday vowed that “they will not allow certain people” who do not have the interest of Nairobi residents at heart to govern the capital city.
He further trashed the planned implementation of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project and the suspended ban on matatus from accessing the city centre, saying that the move would hurt business for those in the transport sector.
DELAY BRT PROJECT
Mr Waititu wants the BRT project delayed for another 10 years to allow for adequate preparations.
“We will not allow, again, Nairobi to go into the hands of somebody who does not care about the livelihood of [our] people,” said Mr Waititu.
He was speaking during a meeting of an association of matatu owners from the metropolitan counties which he is the patron.
In reaction, groups and individuals allied to Governor Sonko came out in his support while threatening to report the Kiambu governor to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions over his remarks.
“We shall present a public petition to NCIC demanding action be taken against Waititu before we proceed to the DPP. It is not the first time he is being accused of hate speech,” said Mark Moses Maina, chairman of Nyamakina Young Traders Association.
Former Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambu also came to Sonko’s defence, asking Mr Waititu to let the Nairobi governor carry out his plans to decongest the city and instead concentrate on the affairs of Kiambu County or resign and seek to be the Nairobi governor.
“Let him not run the affairs of Nairobi from Kiambu. Nairobi residents elected their governor and it is upon the people to decide whether they want to keep him or not. If he feels he is a Nairobian, then he should relinquish his position in Kiambu and come and run in Nairobi against Sonko or any other person but not to say that he is not going to let Nairobi to be run by certain people,” said Mr Mutambu.
The former MP also warned the Kiambu governor against making provocative statements saying this will only take the country back after the cohesion brought about by the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM’s Raila Odinga.
He challenged Mr Waititu to come up with a tangible plan on how to decongest Nairobi.
He said that Nairobi is a cosmopolitan city and every Kenyan has a constitutional right to live, work and even to run for any political position there, adding that all communities in the country must be respected.
“For him to say that they will not let Nairobi to be governed by certain people is a reckless statement coming from a leader of his stature. It is very unfortunate when a leader is carried away or is drunk with power and makes utterances that are likely to cause disharmony in our country.
“We believe that whether you are learned or not, Kamba or Kikuyu, you have a right to live or do business within and without the borders of the country and it is not upon Waititu to dictate what people should do in Nairobi,” he added.
The strained relationship between the two governors last played out in August last year first during the demolitions of structures on riparian land in the city where Governor Waititu suggested that rivers should be moved in order to spare the structures from demolition.
This did not go well with Mr Sonko who advised his colleague to concentrate on running his county and learn to separate friendship with work and keep off Nairobi County affairs.
The same month, the City Hall boss again leaked a phone conversation recording with Mr Waititu as he the Kiambu governor tried to intervene for the release of his wife who had been arrested over the construction of a storey building without requisite approval plans from the county government and lack of an occupation certificate from City Hall.