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Tim Wanyonyi asks NMS to fold up in March

Westlands lawmaker Tim Wanyonyi has opposed any plan to extend the term of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) once the entity’s two-year term expires next year March.

The lawmaker, who’s also declared his bid for Nairobi’s gubernatorial seat come 2022, stressed that NMS should pack and go once its term comes to an end.

He pointed out that the Deed of Transfer of functions signed between former Governor Mike Sonko and the national government was clear on the period of the agreement, hence the timeline of existence of NMS.

He said the Deed clearly stated that the four transferred county functions will remain under the national government for a period of 24 months before the functions are deemed transferred back to the county government for a new deal, if any, to be struck.

“The county functions were transferred for a specific time and that time was 24 months. This will expire next year before the elections. The functions will then be returned to City Hall because those are devolved functions and they don’t belong to the national government,” said Mr Wanyonyi.

Mr Sonko last year February signed the Deed that enabled four key Nairobi County government functions including health services, transport, public works, utilities, and ancillary services, county planning, and development services transferred to the national government.

To carry out the transferred functions, President Uhuru Kenyatta established the NMS on March 17, 2020 and appointed Lieutenant General Mohamed Badi to head the new entity as its director-general.

The second term legislator, however, clarified that his sentiments should not be misconstrued to mean he is faulting the national government for getting involved in management affairs of the city-county government.

“We are not saying that the national government should not participate in the management of Nairobi, they have the right to because Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and also hosts several offices belonging to international organizations. However, NMS’ time will expire and then they will return the functions to the county government,” he said.

At the same time, the MP has joined growing voices calling on the Independent, Electoral, and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to extend the ongoing mass voter registration exercise for at least a month.

He averred that the exercise, which has witnessed low turnout, must be done conclusively to avoid possible court battles over the time allocated to the exercise.

Consequently, he argued that election is a process that starts with voter registration and as such everything possible must be done as required by law to avoid any problems in the future.

“We know that the registration period ends tomorrow but is that enough considering the poor turnout?” he posed.

The IEBC has only registered less than one million new voters as of last week out of the targeted six million but the Commission has been adamant that they will not extend the registration period.

The electoral agency has pointed to a lack of adequate funding for the exercise as one of the reasons that will put paid any efforts to extend the same.

The commission requires Sh40 billion to conduct the mass voter registration but Parliament is yet to approve the funding.

“I call upon my counterparts at the National Assembly to expedite the approval of the IEBC budget so as to enable the Commission achieve its set target. We must work together to ensure that the targeted young voters are all registered. There is willingness from many people to help but the challenge remains the funding nightmare,” he said.