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Nairobi takeover: Sonko insists deal will end over 'frustrations'

Thursday April 30 2020
Mulwa

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s Spokesperson Ben Mulwa addresses the media in Nairobi on April 30, 2020 regarding hurdles in implementation of the Nairobi takeover deal with the national government. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By COLLINS OMULO

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has maintained his push to terminate a city takeover deal with the national government, saying he will not allow the process to continue “if things remain as they are”.

The governor, through his spokesperson Ben Mulwa, said the process has been hijacked by unnamed State officials hell-bent on frustrating and embarrassing him as well as ruining his relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He said his earlier position of instituting the termination process stands if the Deed of Transfer of Functions is not executed in line with the law.

“The governor is still willing to terminate the contractual engagement if things remain as they are," Mr Mulwa said.

"This is because some national government officials have hijacked the process in an effort to embarrass and frustrate him. He is even wondering if the deed being implemented is actually the one he signed or it is a different one."

EARLIER THREAT

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Last week, the governor threatened to withdraw from the agreement between City Hall and the national government, citing frustrations in the implementation of the deal.

He said he was considering going to court to end the agreement that saw four key functions transferred from his administration to the newly established Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

At that time, Mr Mulwa cited the stalemate over Nairobi County Supplementary Appropriations Bill, 2020, which allocates Sh15 billion to the NMS.

He accused unnamed individuals of working in cahoots with Speaker Beatrice Elachi to create their own budget and and approve it.

“We do not even know who authored the supplementary budget as it did not emanate from the Finance department according to procedure,” he said.

He accused Ms Elachi of acting with impunity by declining to subject the governor’s memorandum on the bill to debate in the assembly.

Mr Mulwa also cited the manner in which the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) took over staff from the county as well as the actions of Public Service Commission (PSC) in seconding of City Hall staff to the newly created NMS office.

He added that Sonko's efforts to distribute food and masks as well as install sanitiser booths have been frustrated by national government officers and some vandalised.

Mr Mulwa said all these actions have strengthened the county chief's resolve to commence the process of pulling out of the deal.

DOCUMENTS

Mr Mulwa also said the governor will not be providing any more documents pertaining to the transfer deed.

In a terse letter to the National Treasury on Thursday, Sonko made it clear that his administration will not be providing any more documents.

“This is to inform you that I am under firm and clear instructions from the governor, as Chief Executive Officer of the Nairobi County Government, not to provide any related information," Nairobi County Secretary Justus Kathenge said in the letter.

"This is due to persistent breach of the terms of the Deed of Transfer of Functions. Be informed that the governor has initiated the process of pulling out of the arrangement to revert the functions back to Nairobi County."

This was after the national government raised the alarm that City Hall was trying to frustrate completion of the city takeover by holding on to some crucial documents.

The National Treasury's Internal Auditor-General, Mr Joseph Welimo, said the delay in submission of the documents had stalled the process.

He gave City Hall officers four days to submit the critical documents to the national government.

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