Will Sonko give Nairobi the chance to pick deputy

Sunday January 14 2018

The Polycarp Igathe resignation might come as a surprise to many but it was a ticking time bomb. Mr Igathe, a former director and trustee of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, being a highly trained professional with a BA in Economics and Sociology from the University of Nairobi among other educational achievements, was an incompatible mix with Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

In his short but straight to the point resignation letter, Mr Igathe hints of a major fallout between the two county heads that could be drawn all the way back to their different approaches to politics, life and development.

While Governor Mike Sonko is without doubt street smart, it takes more than just the ability to make money to run a county, it takes the mind of a CEO to successfully take charge of a county and course transformational projects.

Take the example of Governor Kibutha Kibwana has successfully managed to have fresh milk produced, packaged and distributed in his Makueni County. Devolution in its very essence requires a special kind of connection between the county leaders to achieve their developmental goals.


The Nairobi County government has seen a major transformation since the change of guard with a tax collection of up to 50 million per day, a very significant increase from the previous regime. This journey, however, has been clouded by silent rambles within the inner circle of the county that could not be ignored.

The governor through his vast presence across several social media has been keen to portray his developmental agenda and counter critics but without doubt the governor has failed to live up to his campaign promises to the Nairobians.

The issue of providing an alternative location to the city’s hawkers has been talk day in and out with no solution. And considering the rise in the levels of tax collection one would expect that a market for the small scale traders should be half way completed by now.


Mr Igathe sighted the lack of good will from the governor in administration at city hall as one of the factors leading to his resignation. This raises the question of the role of the deputy governor as an elected assistant of the governor in the county.

Mr Igathe was considered by many as the brains in the duet, he provided a proven track record in management and was the best bet for Mr Sonko to implement his plans for capital. The deputy has been all over media explaining brilliant ideas none of which, however, have been implemented.

When Governor Wahome Gakuru died, Mr Sonko asked the Nyeri deputy governor to resign to give the people a chance to elect new leadership. It remains to be seen whether he will now resign to allow Nairobians to choose the deputy governor of their choice?