Showdown looms as Sonko refuses to surrender key documents to Treasury in dockets transfer

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 30 Apr, 2020 01:01 | 2 mins read
Sonko
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 seems to have reneged on the contract he signed with the National Government to cede four key City Hall dockets.

In a letter dated April 28, 2020, the National Treasury wrote to the Nairobi County Secretary demanding documents on key functions, including on Finance and Economic Planning, Health Services, Lands Urban Planning, Urban Renewal Housing and Project Management and Health Services.

The author of the letter, Joseph Welimo, who is an internal auditor-general, warned the county that it has until May 4, 2020, to deliver the required documents or it will be reported to the National Treasury Principal Secretary for breach of the law.

But Governor Sonko is no mood to honour the agreement that he struct at State House, Nairobi on February 25.

Recently, through Nairobi County’s acting secretary, Sonko declared that he is pulling out of the arrangement to cede the four dockets to the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS).

“Be informed that his Excellency the Governor has initiated the process of pulling out of the arrangement and revert the functions back to the Nairobi City County,” the acting Nairobi County Secretary Justus Kathenge wrote while responding to the letter by the National Treasury.

In documents seen by People Daily, Treasury said that it will not be allocated any money in the current financial year since it did not make any request.

The tussle between Treasury and Nairobi City County now seems to have hit a wall following Sonko’s refusal to surrender the information requested by auditors.

“Please note that it is now almost one month and we are not making any meaningful progress, it is our request once again that the information requested be made available the soonest so that we can make progress in the right direction and for decision-making,” said Welimo in his letter to Kathenge.

The National Treasury auditor bewailed the fact that two sectors, Finance and Economic Planning and Public Service and Administration have refused to present any of the information requested.

Further, the auditor also noted that respective Chief Officers have refused to sign all the other information that has been provided.

According to Welimo, a scan of media reports had indicated that the four sectors and the ancillary services handed over their reports to the NMS.

However, the acting County Secretary responded to Welimo, saying he had been instructed to not hand over any documents.

“This is to inform you that I am under firm and clear instructions from his Excellency the Governor as Chief Executive Officer of Nairobi City County government not to provide any related information. This is due to consistent and persistent breach of the terms of the Deed of Transfer of functions.”

Section 162 (3) of the Public Finance Management (National Government) Regulations 2015 states that the internal Auditor shall have unrestricted, direct and prompt access to all records, officials or personnel holding any contractual status and to all the premises and properties of the entity.

If the documents are not provided as requested, the auditor will have no recourse but to report the lack of compliance to Treasury PS.