Sonko says no DG for Nairobi until Senate passes law on time frame

Sonko says no DG for Nairobi until Senate passes law on time frame

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has said there is no legislation to compel him to nominate a deputy governor.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Sonko maintained having no deputy is a non issue.

“You cannot abuse your powers and compel me to appoint a DG. I cannot say the steps unless you Senators pass the County government bill and its accepted by the president. Until then I will not,” he told the Senate Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations.

The committee had summoned him to explain why he is yet to appoint a deputy governor after Polycarp Igathe resigned over a year ago.

The purpose of a deputy governor is to deputise you…if something was to happen to you… and God forbid, what happens?

— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) April 24, 2019

In a rebuttal, the Nairobi Governor noted that he had recommended several candidates but all of them were rejected.

“The County assembly rejected Miguna. When I had another name, Kalonzo and Raila called. My party leader told me to listen to Raila. I am still consulting. Nairobi does not belong to me. Jubilee doesn’t not belong to me. I must consult,” he added.

ODM has since denied the claim that they submitted a candidate’s name for the Nairobi DG position.

In the spirit of handshake I received 2 letters from NASA and communication from NASA leader when I was about to table my 2nd nominations for DG
I also received communication from Raphael Tuju

— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) April 24, 2019

Sonko went ahead to cite an example of Nyeri County saying that residents operated without a deputy governor following the death of Dr. Wahome Gakuru and the subsequent ascent of Mutahi Kahiga.

However, the Senate committee chairperson John Kinyua poked holes into Sonko’s response saying the two situations are not similar. Mr. Kinyua said Nyeri County has since remedied the situation and appointed a deputy governor.

His counterparts further criticised Sonko for terming the lack of a deputy as a non-issue and accused him of feigning ignorance.

“I am disappointed that when we invited you you say it’s a non issue, we are concerned about service delivery. People are wondering is it because of the absence of certain seats that other is no service delivery. We ask you to treat this with seriousness,” Senator Rose Nyamunga said.

Senator Enock Wambua on his part said the purpose of the meeting was for the people of Nairobi to know how far the governor is in finding a deputy.

During the session, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja was caught in a crossfire with Sonko accusing him of plotting against him.

“Article 96 mandates the senator to carry out oversight on me his best friend. If the senator is genuine he could have called me before bringing the matter to this committee…Sakaja is playing politics because he wants to be governor,” Sonko claimed.

Sakaja disparaged Sonko’s comments saying he has never declared intentions to run for the Governor’s seat.

I am looking at issues objectively which is different from what you (Sonko) used to do when you were senator… I was given the mandate by 847,000 Nairobians and I will continue to exercise my mandate.

— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) April 24, 2019

Sonko went on to criticise the Senate for summoning him saying the same did not happen to President Uhuru Kenyatta when her fired some of his Cabinet Secretaries.

He defended his decision to sack some of his Cabinet members alleging that they were involved in corrupt practises.

The Governor even warned that he would continue firing anybody including his new appointed ministers if they are found involved in corruption.

To this Senator Sakaja responded saying there is need to enact a law which states how county governments should be formed.

According to him, the process should not be left to the whims of governors but be based on the law.

On his part, Senator Kangata Irungu noted that there is a lacuna in the law which the Senate needs to address.

“The Supreme Court does not make laws therefore an advisory and directive of the Supreme Court compelling Sonko to appoint his DG is not binding before law,” Irungu said.

Report by Chemutai Goin and Vincent Mangeti

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