Uhuru intervenes as Sonko-Badi turf wars turn ugly

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 6 Aug, 2020 11:38 | 2 mins read
Nairobi MCAs want county gov't to set aside budget for condoms
City Hall Nairobi. PHOTO/ Joel Muinde

The mess at City Hall still remains a headache for President Uhuru Kenyatta despite his interventions to restore sanity in Nairobi since the embattled Governor Mike Sonko took over leadership in 2017.

Ugly fights continue to embarrass the county as wrangles escalate between Governor Sonko, Nairobi County Assembly members and Nairobi Metropolitan Service boss, Maj-Gen Mohamed Badi over control of City Hall operations.

The crisis was recently escalated to the National Security Council, a state organ chaired by President Kenyatta, in bid to bring order in the region's most vibrant capital which serves as a diplomatic and economic hub for East Africa.

The Nairobi County wars were on the agenda of the NSC, the first ever to touch on matters of a county government, following a spate of violent quarrels at the legislative assembly chambers that climaxed into bitter fight to impeach Speaker Beatrice Elachi.

An MCA, Mlango's Mutheu Musyimi, became a casualty after she was brutalized by police officers who responded to the chaos, leading to her hospitalisation.

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho who sits in the council on Wednesday said the fights by Nairobi leaders were a concern especially after MCAs engaged in a shootout, forcing the ministry to withdraw guns from at least 14 of them over fears that the wrangles could turn deadly.

“You look at the ceiling and you might think that is a battlefield due to bullet marks. That is irresponsible use of firearms and people should not bring politics when we are discussing security issues. That is why we are meeting today, because those MCAs broke the law by shooting at City Hall. What would be talking about now if they killed each other?” Kibicho posed.

He added: “They (MCAs) have gotten to a level of being discussed by the National Security Council.”

City Hall face has almost turned into a battlefield often characterised with police not only lobbing teargas to disperse aggressive members, but permanently pitching tent at entrances and exits to prevent the frequent chaos.

Last week Interior CS Fred Matiangi, who described City Hall as a ‘War Zone” said he would table a paper before the Security Council detailing the policing challenges for advice on how best to tackle them in a manner he said may be painful “but we have to deal with the menace once and for all.”

“Tough decisions have to be made. It will not be a whimsical decision but we will go through the path of the law,” the CS said.

The violence saw the National Police Service last week transfer Nairobi Region police boss Philip Ndolo to the police Training College, Kiganjo, replacing him with Coast Region boss Yakub Rashid.