City MPs accuse Mike Sonko of running down Nairobi

Thursday November 21 2019

The political differences between Nairobi leaders Senator Johnson Sakaja and Governor Mike Sonko have bubbled into the open.

The senator on Thursday led nine MPs from Nairobi in accusing the governor of presiding over a dysfunctional executive characterised by gung-ho tactics and called for a comprehensive forensic audit of all money allocated to the county in the last three financial years - 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.

But in a quick rejoinder, MCAs dashed to the defence of the governor and accused the senator of playing politics in his attacks. They claimed Mr Sakaja has failed to facilitate any policy to the benefit of Nairobi County during the two years he has been a senator.

On Thursday, Mr Sakaja and the nine MPs said the county government has failed to deliver the critical services enumerated as county functions, including health, water, sewage and sanitation, estate and feeder roads, physical planning, early childhood education among others.

“As MPs, we would like to absolve our MCAs from a certain degree of blame understanding the difficult and hostile environment that they are operating in,” Mr Sakaja said during a press conference at Parliament.

The MPs claimed that Mr Sonko is running a non-functional executive, full of nepotism, insults and bullying characterised by intimidation and even physical assault.


“The destruction of personal property by the county executive has left MCAs with their hands tied behind their backs limited on service delivery to their electorate,” Mr Sakaja said.

The MPs said the audits should establish the county roads projects for the past three financial years, who was awarded the contracts, for how much, the status of completion and the ward or constituency where the road is located.

They also want an investigation into all medical machines and equipment purchased under the government, county purchase or procurement agreement, the hospitals in Nairobi that have benefited and the status of the equipment.

They also want an audit of all money spent to equip all Level One to Four hospitals in Nairobi with medicines and non-pharmaceutical purchases for the last three financial years and the total amount spent on each constituency for infrastructure development of all dispensaries and hospitals.

An audit of money allocated and where it was spent for all water and sewerage plants per constituency and the general status of water sewerage in Nairobi for the last three financial years.

Other areas they want probed include whether the county has engaged the services of over 6,000 youth who are not under any contract but are paid through the county suspense account.

The youths, the MPs claimed, are also misused by the political class to cause mayhem and inflict injury on any dissenting voice whenever county leaders feel threatened.

The MPs further claimed that a company known as Noveta was single-sourced to perform the critical duty of collecting revenue on behalf of the county government after Mr Sonko terminated the JamboPay revenue contract.

The contract for refurbishing Pumwani Maternity Hospital was single-sourced and grossly inflated by over Sh80 million to enable the lining of the pockets of some people at City Hall.

At the county assembly, MCAs from both sides of the aisle said they read malice in the senator's attacks, saying the governor has initiated projects across the county including in infrastructure and health.

On pending bills, the AAR contract and revenue, the MCAs said most of the pending bills were inherited from previous administrations and Mr Sonko had little to do with them. They also declared that the governor does not deal with tendering to have contracted Noveta to collect revenue on behalf of the county.

“We want to urge our fellow leaders not to use their positions to intimidate county leaders or frustrate devolution. Nairobi will not succeed through fighting the governor ... as we all have one common interest of Nairobi residents,” said nominated MCA Millicent Jagero while reading the joint statement.

The MCAs further accused Mr Sakaja of failing to come up with any policy to benefit Nairobi County yet he is the senator.

“The role of a senator is to ensure that funds have been allocated to the counties and policies brought before the Senate. Why is it that Sakaja has never brought any policy or followed up on any policy to ensure that Nairobi is running the way he is purporting he wants it to run.”

They challenged Nairobi leaders to also come clean on projects funded by the Sh109 million they are getting every year through Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by giving a breakdown of how the kitty has been used.