Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has protested what appears to be a hostile take over of the county governments.
Sonko on Saturday issued a hard hitting statement just a day after the Public Service Commission (PSC) asked over 6,000 county staffs to pick their letters of deployment to the national government.
Consequently, the flamboyant Governor has cancelled a two day meeting between the staff and PSC scheduled for Monday and Teusday the KICC.
“I wish to register my great displeasure and disappointment, and that of the entire Nairobi City County Government, in the ATROCIOUS and REPUGNANT manner with which a few officials from the national government have chosen to pursue the implementation the Deed of Transfer of Functions that I signed on February 25, 2020 at State House Nairobi, and witnessed by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta,” He said.
Sonko’s complaints comes just few days after Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua issued a crucial seconding several officers from various government ministries to the new Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) led by Major General (Rtd) Badi.
Just less than a month after he signed the controversial deal to transfer some functions, its becoming apparent that powerful individuals in the national government had duped him to surrender literally the entire of his government.
Sources have indicated that among the powerful individuals being the transfer is the President’s younger brother Muhoho Kenyatta popularly known as MK in government circles.
MK is said to be eying the multi billion shilling project for developing former Kenya Railway land estates that include Muthurwa, Kaloleni, Makongeni and others. He has partnered with Chinese developers and the project had been delayed as the County government was derailing the necessary approvals.
And with a stroke of a pen, Sonko made it easy after he handed over the docket of lands and planning to the NMS. Already two senior officers have been seconded from Ardhi house to head the lands docket at City Hall.
Whereas President Kenyatta and Sonko had agreed that communication should be done through the County Secretary, city hall employees have been receiving instructions either through the press or called individually by officers from national government.
For instance, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) that Sonko appointed as an agency to collect revenue had proceeded to summon all officers in the revenue department to report to Times Towers to be assigned afresh. The summons were in an advert in the newspaper. KRA has further opened a new revenue account in total disregard of the county government act that mandates the CEC finance.
On Saturday, Sonko protested thus;
FIRST, there is a Presidential Directive expressly prohibiting all public gatherings. It is therefore the height of impunity for the newly created Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), through the Public Service Commission (PSC), to purport to summon six thousand and fifty two (6,052) employees of the Nairobi City County Government to KICC on Monday and Tuesday next week to collect the alleged letters of redeployment, with total disregard to the great risk they shall be exposing to these employees as the country battles with the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far claimed four (4) lives and infected over 100 people.
SECOND, the Nairobi Metropolitan Services and the Public Service Commission has no current jurisdiction whatsoever over the employees of the Nairobi City County Government. As it stands, the responsibility still remains with the Nairobi County Public Service Board to notify its employees of the purported secondment. The Public Service Commission, on the other hand, should operate within its mandate, and can only second national government officers to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.
THIRD, in his address on March 18, 2020 during the official hand over ceremony of the transferred functions at State House Nairobi, H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta was categorical that that marked the beginning of a partnership and collaboration between my administration and the newly created Nairobi Metropolitan Services to see to the smooth implementation of the Deed that was gazetted on February 25, 2020.
Clearly, there are few overzealous individuals within the national government who have been overtaken by excitement, and have chosen to break all known laws and the provisions of the Deed of Transfer, to pursue their narrow and myopic interests at the expense of the goodwill and good intentions held by the President and myself for the great people of Nairobi. The result is the anarchy that is quickly brewing, where all known protocols and procedures are being blatantly broken in the name of operationalizing the NMS. I want to assure them that that will never happen under my watch.
FOURTH, the Deed of Transfer that we signed in extremely clear on how communication should be conducted between the national government, the Nairobi City County government and the NMS. So far, all manner of individuals from the national government have continued to summon, call for meetings with and issue directives to County employees through telephone calls, SMSs, WhatsApp messages and other unorthodox communication channels that are outside standard government procedure. Worse, still, is the fact that most of this communication is done deliberately excluding me, in total contravention of the provisions of the Deed.
GIVEN the foregoing, as the Governor of Nairobi City County, I wish to direct as follows:
1. The public gathering called by the NMS, through the PSC, scheduled for Monday, February 6th and Tuesday, February 7th, 2020 is hereby CANCELLED until further notice. This is in line with the Presidential Directives issued to combat the spread of the Corona Virus.
2. The Nairobi City County government employees are here by advised to ignore the threats allegedly issued by the PSC, on behalf of the NMS. Nairobi will not be governed by intimidation and threats that lack in legal standing, and the Nairobi County Public Service Board shall advise, in due course, the procedure and the process of the secondment, in a manner than shall address all the concerns that the Couty employees have raised with the PSC, through their Union, the Nairobi City County Government Workers Union (NCGWU).
3. ALL Nairobi City County government employees are hereby directed to ignore any further communication regarding the Transfer of Functions from any quarters whatsoever, whenever that communication is NOT in writing and copied to the Governor and the County Secretary.
4. The Transfer of Functions DID NOT amount to a takeover or dissolution of the Nairobi City County Government. As such, the County remains fully functional under the Constitution, decorum must be observed and maintained at all times in the implementation of the Deed of Transfer. That way, the full benefits shall be enjoyed by the people of Nairobi, and not a few greedy individuals who are out to satisfy their egos.
EVIDENTLY, there are a few individuals who have chosen to highjack the noble mission that the President and I embarked on to move Nairobi forward, but I wish to assure them that their sinister motives shall not succeed. Nairobi has been here for the last 120 years, and shall remain for many centuries after we are all long gone. It is therefore imperative that we all commit to do what is right guided by the rule of law.
GOING FORWARD, I wish to thank the employees of the Nairobi City County Government for their patience and cooperation so far, and urge them to continue discharging their duties diligently, as we harmonise the process of the implementation of the Deed of Transfer, to ensure that their welfare and concerns are well addressed.
H.E. Mike Mbuvi Sonko, EGH
GOVERNOR, NAIROBI CITY COUNTY