Resident in court to stop Nairobi transfer deal

Wednesday March 18 2020
CITY HALL

City Hall, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MAUREEN KAKAH

A Nairobi resident has rushed to court to challenge yesterday's shock decision by Governor Mike Sonko to transfer key county functions to the national government.

Robbin Karani, the petitioner, claims the move has denied Nairobi residents a reasonable opportunity to state their case on the matter.

He, therefore, wants the High Court to stop implementation of the deal entered into Tuesday.

Mr Karani has questioned why Sonko was the only City Hall representative during the signing of the deal, yet the State was represented by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki.

“Mr Sonko’s decision is unlawful, unreasonable, procedurally unfair and taken with an ulterior motive to prejudice the right of the residents of Nairobi as provided for in the Constitution,” said Mr Karani.

On Tuesday, Sonko signed a deal with the national government transferring key functions of the county to the State including health, transport, public works, utility, planning and development.

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The deal, which is set to be effective as of March 15, places the Nairobi County government under the control of the national government for two years until February 25, 2022, just a few months before the next General Election.

While the move has been suggested as a solution to the crisis that has hit governance of the capital, Mr Karani claims that the procedure and threshold under part 111 of the Intergovernmental Relations Act 2012 was inadequately satisfied to justify the agreement.

Mr Sonko has a pending Sh357 million graft case and was barred from accessing his office pending his trial. He is also facing impeachment.

Mr Karani, who is a constituent of Roysambu, wants the High Court to stop implementation of the new deal.

He also wants the sued parties barred from making any efforts aimed at implementing the transfer of functions agreement.

READ: Explainer: what Sonko, State House transfer deal says

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