Mike Sonko: I initiated Uhuru’s takeover after US, Nigeria benchmarking

By Joel Muinde On Thu, 27 Feb, 2020 10:53 | 2 mins read
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko signs agreement handing over four City Hall dockets to the National Government on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. PHOTO | PSCU

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko now says that he initiated the national government takeover of City Hall’s four key dockets.

Sonko said that Nairobi being the nation’s seat of power and Kenya’s commercial capital is unique among counties and calls for greater partnerships with key stakeholders, especially the National Government.

“To address the unique needs of Nairobi City County, my Government set out on a fact-finding mission that saw us benchmark and take lessons from other jurisdictions across the world including Washington DC in the US and Abuja in Nigeria.

“From these case studies, we established that cities and metropolis, the size of Nairobi, are best served jointly by devolved units and Central Governments,” said Sonko in a lengthy statement he shared on Facebook on Wednesday night.

Contrary to reports that President Uhuru Kenyatta was angered by Sonko’s sacking of the acting Nairobi County Secretary Leboo ole Morintat, the governor said he was the one who approached the National Goverment.

“Equipped with this knowledge, and in my capacity as the Governor, I initiated discussions with the National Government with a view of finding a sustainable approach to service delivery that leverages both on the County and National resources and competencies,” said Sonko.

Sonko was barred from office by the court pending conclusion of his Sh357 million corruption case but that did not stop him from naming his deputy after nearly two years of running the county alone or reshuffling his Cabinet.

On Tuesday, the country witnessed the first handing over of county ministries to the National Government following the agreement signed at State House, Nairobi.

Sonko surrendered to the State, the Health, Public Works, Transport and Planning dockets for management by a technical team.

Governors in trouble

Last month, Kiambu County boss Ferdinand Waititu became the first governor found guilty by the Senate and subsequently impeacher over three charges: gross misconduct, abuse of office and engaging in corruption.

Waititu was quickly replaced by his deputy governor, Dr. James Nyoro, who was sworn in just two days after the Senate impeachment.

The other governor facing similar troubles as Sonko is Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal who was charged with abuse of office and corruption.

The court subsequently barred Lenolkulal from office even though that did not stop him from reshuffling his Cabinet.

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