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Sonko-Badi supremacy war delays release of Sh1 billion Covid-19 kitty

The supremacy battle between governor Mike Sonko and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is delaying the release of Sh1 billion kitty set aside for Covid-19 interventions in the County.

The new administration led by director general Mohammed Badi was allocated Sh1.025 billion by Nairobi County Assembly on April 2, through the Nairobi County Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2020 to respond to the pandemic.

The funds allocated under the Disaster and Emergency Fund were to be used to purchase sanitisers, masks and other items for Nairobi residents.

However, Sonko is yet to assent to the Bill for it to become law to give Badi the power to start spending the money in the new virus mitigation efforts.

There has been a push and pull between Sonko and Badi over the transferred functions which played out last week when the City Hall boss unsuccessfully tried to stop the deployment of more than 6,000 City Hall Staff to NMS.

However, the NMS boss told off Sonko telling him he was now in charge of the employees under the affected sectors after he signed the Deed of Transfer of functions to the national government on February 25.

The Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriations committee chairman Robert Mbatia confirmed the governor was yet to append his signature to the Bill more than 10 days after it was passed by the assembly and forwaded to his office.

Mbatia said Sonko’s office had told  to him he had some concerns with the Bill and will seek amendments but is yet to present these the changes to the committee.

“When I inquired why he had not signed it, I was told the Executive had some reservations that they intend to bring back as a memorandum to the House this week. However, we are yet to get the revised copy,” said Mbatia.

The Kariobangi South MCA, nonetheless, said Sonko has until Thursday to assent to the Bill or it will automatically become law at the expiry of the 14 days set in the law.

“By law, Governor Sonko is mandated to sign the Bill in order to give NMS power to access the funds. However, if he does not append his signature it becomes effective after the lapse of the 14 days,” he added.

Nairobi County was declared the epicenter of coronavirus with the bulk of the confirmed cases in the country.

From the funds, Sh85 million will go to ward-based interventions, including purchase of sanitisers, masks and related items at Sh1 million for each of the 85 wards.

The remaining Sh940 million will remain under the Emergency Fund for general health interventions related to the pandemic.