EDITORIAL: Nairobi Governor must now get his act together - Daily Nation

Nairobi Governor must now get his act together

Sunday April 15 2018

More by this Author

The problem with Nairobi is poor leadership.

Its leadership has changed hands every electoral cycle but without making any difference.

However, now the city could have hit its lowest under the leadership of Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko.

City Hall has become a den of sorts where influence peddlers ply their trade.

Clearly, no meaningful engagement on the future of Nairobi can take place in an environment where intimidation and political patronage overrides everything else.

The Governor must understand that Nairobi is the heart of the nation.

It is the seat of government and a thriving trade hub.

Comparatively, it is the most successful and expansive city in the region, boasting of heavy international presence, including a United Nations agency headquarters, the only one of its kind in this part of the world.

A report published elsewhere in this edition tells of a leadership that is bereft of ideas.

Administrative, legislative, structural and financial pillars that hold any organisation are slowly becoming dysfunctional.

Service delivery is horribly poor. Suspicion and witch-hunting are the order of the day.


Security has worsened as criminals take control of the city.

Traffic jams and road indiscipline have become the new normal.

Infrastructure and drainage systems are crumbling. But the Governor has no clue at all how to fix these.

Administratively, the Governor has failed to fully constitute the city government.

He is yet to appoint a deputy to replace Polycarp Igathe as he is busy playing politics with the position.

Nairobi receives the highest budgetary allocation from the national government – Sh15 billion in the current financial year, up from Sh14 billion the previous year.

Besides, it generates huge revenues through rates and various other services.

In 2016/17, it raised some Sh11.7 billion, itself an under-performance because the city has potential to rake in more.

But the substantive point is that the revenues are never put into good use.

Suspicious characters have been given sanctuary at City Hall and allowed to run roughshod over everybody.


Some so-called youth have taken over services such as cleaning, managing public toilets, among others, without recourse to procedures.

The consequence is that the city is losing huge amounts of money to non-accountable groups.

The essence of devolution is to bring services closer to the people and give them a voice to decide on matters affecting them.

But Nairobi residents are losers in this.

It is our hope that the ongoing intervention by the national government through the Nairobi regeneration programme will partly restore the dignity of the city.