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Sonko, Badi fight over Nairobi Governor’s posh official residence

The deep-rooted rivalry between Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director General Mohammed Badi has heightened with the two now fighting over the County Governor’s official residence.

There has been no love lost between the two who have been engaged in a long-running supremacy battle ever since NMS was established in March.

Previously, they have fought over the transfer of county staff and credit for projects in the capital.

The latest tussle between the two, however, began on Tuesday when Governor Sonko announced that he had taken possession of the residence situated in posh Lavington area after it was returned to the county government by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

He also stated that county staff had begun renovating the house ahead of his plan to move in.

But immediately after the announcement, Major General Badi warned the governor to stay away from the property, saying the house is in the hands of NMS and has been sealed off by police officers.

Nobody is going to claim that house

“Lands is a transferred function to NMS and so that area belongs to NMS. He may play his tricks but as we are talking that house has been sealed off and nobody is going to claim that house,” charged Mr Badi.

However, Governor Sonko hit back at the DG asking him to respect the rule of law instead of “forcefully” taking the residence and ceremonial vehicle.

Mr Sonko pointed to Article 187 (2) (b) of the constitution which stipulates that the constitutional responsibility for the performance of the function or exercise of the power shall remain with the government to which it is assigned by the Fourth Schedule.

“We are not in competition, kindly let us focus on service delivery to the Great people of Nairobi and if you want to fight go to Somalia and fight with Alshaabab and if you want to become the Governor wait for 2022 to vie,” said the City Hall boss.

However, Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi defended Mr Badi saying that the function of Land and Housing squarely falls under NMS as part of the four transferred county functions.

“NMS can take over and decide what to do with the property. Sonko is still the governor of Nairobi but he surrendered some of the functions to NMS,” he said.

But Nairobi County Assembly majority leader Abdi Guyo defended Mr Sonko accusing Mr Badi of engaging in politics and deviating from his roles as specified in the Deed of Transfer of functions.

“The mayor’s house is supposed to be an official residence of the governor. And we have just one elected governor in Nairobi. So, he cannot claim that that the house belongs to NMS,” he said.

The five-bedroomed house has been vacant since the last occupant, former CEC Anne Lokidor vacated it in November 2018.

The property, sitting on 0.843 acres along Isaac Gathanju Close in Lavington, housed previous city mayors until 2002 when the former Lands Minister Noah Katana Ngala allocated it to himself and lived in it for 10 years.

He was, however, arrested by EACC together with his wife and charged over the property and in 2012. They entered into an agreement with the Commission to return the property to the public.

Former governor Evans Kidero did not live in the house instead left it to Ms Lokidor.

Nairobi’s last mayor before Devolution, George Aladwa, now Makadara MP, became the last mayor to occupy the house.