Here are Sonko’s achievements and failures as he marks second year in office
Today marks two years since Governor Mike Sonko came into office as the second governor of Nairobi County.
However, his tenure so far has been defined by instability, characterized by constant reshuffles, suspensions, sackings, constant fall-outs, operating without a deputy governor, unleashing recordings of other leaders and rarely operating from his City Hall office.
Four top officials have been sent home ever since including former Finance executive Danvas Makori, ex-County Secretary Peter Kariuki, former County Attorney Lydia Kwamboka and former Health chief officer Mahat Jimale, and a number of suspensions.
In public events and through his social media posts, the governor has breathing fire and threatening to send home more officers but with little end result despite “receiving intelligence on those working with his enemies as well as officers looting the county”.
The governor has also carried out at least five cabinet reshuffles with most of his executives having served in at least two dockets since being sworn-in with the Finance and Lands departments turned into revolving doors.
Since falling out with former deputy governor Polycarp Igathe in December, 2017, the post has remained vacant, even after releasing a shortlist of possible candidates with the governor insisting that the post will go to a woman.
“I am still waiting for a pending legislation in the Senate to amend the County Governments Act to appoint a deputy governor,” said Mr Sonko last week. The county secretary position still has no substantive holder.
Embattled Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo, and a number of other individuals have had their private phone conversation recordings exposed by the City Hall boss.
He also fell out with former Education executive Janet Ouko with the disagreement between the two even ending up in court.
The ghost of his enemies constantly being after him has also been a constant fixture and last week, he gave his cabinet a dress-down during a meeting with MCAs in Mombasa accusing some of them of “working with his enemies to finish him politically”.
“People who are working with their informers and are after my downfall have planted things at my City Hall office and that is why I am operating from Upper Hill. I am very sharp and I will not fall into the trap. I am just waiting for my death you will never fix me. I have served jail sentence and nothing fazes me,” he said.
Mega projects promised by the county have not lived to their promise including Dandora dumpsite power plant, taming matatu madness and decongesting Nairobi’s city centre, relocation of hawkers, tackling garbage menace in the city and failing to meet revenue targets.
Despite the failings that have punctuated the second regime, beautification programme – which has seen key highways improved by planting flowers, grass and trees – has stuck out as a successful flagship project.
There is also the introduction of free Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) programme in June last year as well as a partnership with Brookside Dairy that saw the county introduce free milk programme to the children.
The health sector has also undergone tremendous growth where heath facilities have been upgraded and a one-of-a-kind human milk bank with installed pasteurizer that can hold 9.4 million litres, two fridges and four freezers with a 240-litre capacity at Pumwani Maternity Hospital.
The health facility has also been upgraded to enhance maternal care increasing the number of deliveries, equipped with a cold room, a new surgical ward, a new theatre, modern bathrooms with hot showers for the expectant and new mothers and upgrade of its bed capacity.
The other county health facility, Mbagathi Hospital received a Renal Unit and acquired five ultra-modern dialysis machines and a new maternity wing is currently being put up.
In the road sector, several estate roads have been re-carpeted and at least there are 58 ongoing projects fully funded by the county and 38 roads under the Nairobi Regeneration project where Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) has been playing a leading role.