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[email protected]: I’ve only worked for 40 days, 60 were spent campaigning for Uhuru, Nairobi governor says

During his campaigns, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko made a raft of pledges which he promised to fulfill in his first 100 days in office.

Top on his list was the digitizing of operations, revoking all illegal and irregular contracts signed by former Governor Evans Kidero’s regime, as well as having senior staff in his administration being subjected to a code on accountability.

Three months later, Governor Sonko’s administration has made some progress on a number of fronts. He is also yet to fulfill many other pledges but is optimistic they will be fully implemented progressively.

“I have never made a promise I cannot keep… I want to give you an assurance that Nairobi will never be the same again… I shall work round the clock to deliver,” said the Governor, when he was sworn into office on August 21.

He added; “…there shall be enough water in the city, no garbage as we have already demonstrated in the ongoing ‘Operation Ng’arisha Jiji’.”

But at the lapse of his 100 days in office, the governor is now saying he has not achieved a number of his pledges due to campaigns for repeat presidential election and charged political temperatures in the country.

He further blamed some lazy county employees for failing to undertake their duties as required.

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“I have only worked for 40 days since we were campaigning for the President and the political temperatures were high for the other 60 days, let the people know that my scorecard is based on those few days.

“I was lenient with the workers thinking that they will do their job and but instead they have been sabotaging my efforts,” he says.

The governor, in the meantime, says, he has already automated 58 out of the 136 county revenue streams through Web Tribe Limited – a company the county contracted to automate 100 such revenue streams.

Governor Sonko also pledged to hold a “The Nairobi We Want” convention within three weeks of assuming office, improve working conditions for staff, audit county properties to get a fixed asset register of the city, develop an affordable housing plan and review the county planning framework among other things.

However, all these pledges have not been met.

On business, Governor Sonko pledged to reduce parking fee by a half, scrap trade licensing fee for small-scale traders and reduce licensing fees for medium and large-scale traders besides setting up modern kiosks for the jobless and the poor.

In October, the County boss fulfilled part of the promises by scrapping trade licenses for ‘Mama Mbogas’ while also banning the Sh30 daily fee charged on the small-scale traders.

He is, however, yet to reduce parking fee from the current Sh300 to Sh140, as he promised, paid before the entry of Kidero.

OTHER PLEDGES

On health matters, Governor Sonko outlined plans to put up more health facilities to help residents have easy access to healthcare by partnering with the National Hospitals Insurance Fund. This yet another promise that is yet to be realized so far.

Sonko also promised to sort out garbage problem in the city, the hawkers menace and water scarcity, fix sewerage problems and rein on land grabbing in the city.

Despite the fact that many of his pledges are yet to be fulfilled, he is, however optimistic that all his promises will be fulfilled.

On the hawkers’ menace, the Governor announced they would be moved to back streets and allowed to start hawking only from 2 pm as short-term measures and be registered and permanent structures built for them.

Last month, Mwariro Market in Kariorkor was identified as a permanent place to relocate the hawkers with plans to acquire Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) building located on the Haile Selassie Avenue in order to transform it into a hawkers’ market.

On traffic management, the City Hall boss said he will employ the use of technology to control traffic and give incentives to Saccos and companies to introduce high-capacity buses.

On matters social inclusion, the governor pledged to involve the people in decision making by setting up an advisory committee that includes representatives of the people, and recruit the youth from various wards as county askaris in their respective jurisdictions. This is yet to materialize.

Additional reporting by Lillian Mutavi