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Senators want Sonko to explain one-man show leadership style

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has snubbed an invitation by a committee of the Senate to discuss concerns raised over the way he is running the city county government.

The governor had been scheduled to appear before the committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations but did not show up.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has raised concerns over the manner in which the governor is running Nairobi affairs which he argues has affected the delivery of services to residents.

In particular, the senator wants to know why the governor has refused to appoint his deputy ever since the resignation of Mr Polycarp Igathe in early 2018.

SACKED COUNTY EXECUTIVES

Mr Sonko is also accused of running his administration without a properly constituted county executive committee, having fired most of the members.

The Nairobi County Assembly has also no substantive Speaker after the sacking of Ms Beatrice Elachi.

The senators have accused Mr Sonko of turning the city county government into a one-man-show.

The Senate Devolution Committee was Wednesday forced to adjourn its sitting after the Nairobi governor failed to turn up.

Mr Sonko did not send apologies.

“We are going to send another invite to the governor to appear before the committee. If he fails to honour the invite, we will summon him,” said Kwale Senator Isa Juma, who chaired Wednesday’s session.

“We are issuing another invite. We expect the governor to appear before this committee in the next two weeks without failing,” the senator added.

UNDERMINES DEVOLUTION

The senators have argued that the governor’s continued leadership without substantive office holders undermines devolution and sets a dangerous precedence.

“It means a governor can decide to frustrate the deputy to resign or reach a deal to vacate office and operate without one,” Mr Sakaja said.

The Nairobi senator raised the matter on the floor of the House through a personal statement calling for intervention by the Senate.

He said the city county is being run by a government that is not properly constituted as stipulated in law.

Senators also criticised Governor Sonko for only working with five CECs as opposed to the ten envisaged in law.

Mr Sakaja said that the Nairobi governor should be compelled to comply with the law and have his administration properly constituted.

DISDAIN

He said that failure to pick a deputy shows the governor’s disdain for the role of deputy governors.

Mr Sakaja added that this has undermined the delivery of service to the residents of Nairobi.

In an advisory opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that governors are free to pick their deputies, with the approval of county assembly, in the event a vacancy occurs in that office.

Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga, who took over after the death of Dr Wahome Gakuru, has since taken advantage of the advisory and appointed Ms Caroline Karugu as his deputy.