Nairobi MPs address a press conference at Parliament buildings yesterday
CITY LEADERSHIP: Nairobi MPs address a press conference at Parliament buildings yesterday
Image: / Courtesy/Star

By Reporter

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is under fire from city MPs for his style of leadership, which they say has failed to spur growth.

Nine lawmakers described the Nairobi county as ‘mortally ill with one foot in the grave’. They demand a proper audit of all the billions the county has received since Sonko took over two years ago.

The MPs included Johnson Sakaja (Senator), Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Timothy Wanyonyi (Westlands), Antony Oluoch (Mathare), Benjamin Mwangi (Embakasi Central), Nixon Korir (Lang’ata), Bernard Okoth (Kibra) and George Aladwa (Makadara).

They cited the absence of a deputy Governor, a non-functional executive, and wrangles in the assembly as some of the major contributors on the mess in Nairobi.

The governor, they said, has adopted a one-man show in the running of the county with a lot of opaqueness, especially on the use of billions pumped into the county from the national government and other sources.

“As elected leaders it is expected of us to speak out. We cannot sit back and watch as our beloved city sinks further into an abyss of mismanagement, corruption and impunity. As anarchy and disorder reigns supreme at City Hall, services to Nairobi citizens have practically ground to a halt,” Sakaja, who read the joint statement, said.

“The Nairobian is being treated to all manner of shadow boxing and dramatisations in the name of fighting cartels.”

The leaders also want a special audit to ascertain if the county prudently spent Sh52.54 billion it has received in the last two financial years.

Sakaja said the county received Sh26.33 billion in the 2017-18 financial year mainly from equitable share (Sh 15.40 billion), own source revenue (Sh10.11 billion) and conditional grants (Sh817.36 billion).

In 2018-19 the county received Sh15.79 billion equitable share, Sh10.25 billion own source revenue and an extra Sh172.97 million in conditional grants, all totalling to Sh26.2 billion.

“In the last two years, Nairobi county has received in excess of Sh52.54 billion. This, as taps in the city remain dry, garbage uncollected, sewerage flowing freely, estate and feeder roads in deplorable conditions, residents resorting to seek health services away from county dispensaries and other critical services remaining unrendered,” Sakaja said.

The leaders also want the governor to come out clear on the status of 6,000 youths who are not under any contract but are paid through county suspense account.

Only the nine MPs turned up for the press conference which was initially to be addressed by all the 17 elected lawmakers.

MPs who did not attend the press conference at Parliament media centre include Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Waihenya Ndirangu (Roysambu), Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South), Tom Kajwang’ (Ruaraka), Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), George Theuri (Embakasi West), Yusuf Hassan (Kamkunji) and Charles Njagua (Starehe).

Area Woman Representative Esther Passaris also did not attend.