Attorney General defends Sonko’s move to handover Nairobi County functions

Attorney General defends Sonko’s move to handover Nairobi County functions

Attorney General Kihara Kariuki says Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has the authority to execute the deed of transfer of certain functions on behalf of the County Government.

According to the Attorney General, there is no vacancy in the Office of the Governor of Nairobi City County, following the court order that barred Sonko from accessing his office.

The AG has made the remarks while responding to three cases challenging the decision by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to transfer some of the county functions to the National Government.

Through State Counsel Emmanuel Bitta, the Attorney General has asked the court to dismiss the three cases arguing that the transfer of functions and powers between the levels of Government is purely a political process and the rationale of the same is not within the purview of the court jurisdiction to question.

“…the effect of the grant orders sought by the petitioners would amount to judicial overreach into constitutional purview of the National and County Governments,” says Bitta.

The State counsel says the court would essentially be substituting its decision with that of the constitutional repository of the function and power.

In the court papers filed in court, Bitta says that the agreement between the two levels of Government makes provisions for public participation and amendments of any terms arising before implementation of the same.

The AG says that the respondents complied with the process of transfer of functions as provided in the Intergovernmental Relations Act.

Meanwhile, PS Ministry of Devolution Charles Sunkuli in his replying affidavit says that after consultation with the Nairobi County, the County Government agreed to handover the four key functions — County Health Service, County Transport Service, County planning and Development Services and County Public Works, Utilities and Ancillary Services — to the National Government.

In the three cases Human Rights Activist Okiya Omtatah, Lawyer Robbin Murimi and Katiba Insitute have filed separate applications at the High Court Nairobi challenging the takeover of the four functions by the national government.

They are seeking a declaration that the transfer of the functions of the Nairobi County Government is unlawful and unconstitutional and therefore, invalid.