A plan to disband the Nairobi county government is in the offing, Weekly Citizen has information. In fact, Governor Mike Sonko is privy to the information hence his spirited efforts to stop operations of Nairobi Metropolitan Services whose Director-General Mohammed Badi. And the greatest losers will be the elected MCAs as they will lose their seats once the city management is fully placed in the hands of NMS. Sonko has been blocked from office by the court but still enjoys support among city residents.
Last week, Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i hinted at the dissolution when he stated he was seeking the guidance of a top security organ chaired by Uhuru Kenyatta over the troubles at the Nairobi county assembly.Matiang’i’s said the assembly, located at City Hall, has turned out to be a “battle zone” and is now a major security challenge. He announced that as a stopgap measure, he had asked Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to investigate the number of gun holders in the assembly and immediately have them disarmed. He said this decision was reached after police officers who were deployed to deal with chaos recovered 14 guns from some of the suspects. The move to disarm MCAs is part of the dissolution plot.
The NSC is the highest security organ in the country and is chaired by the president. According to the constitution, the president may suspend a county government– (a) in an emergency arising out of internal conflict or war; or (b) in any other exceptional circumstances. The constitution further stipulates that a county government shall not be suspended under clause (1) (b) unless an independent commission of inquiry has investigated allegations against the county government, the president is satisfied that the allegations are justified and the Senate has authorized the suspension. Insiders added that the NSC is set to consider the proposal to dissolve the county this week and if adopted the president will cite the security threats and mismanagement as the factors that informed his decision. Uhuru is likely to form a commission of inquiry as per NSC advice.
But aware of the plot, Sonko rushed to court to forestall it by demanding the cancellation of the deal he signed with the government ceding some key functions. The case is going on. The threat to dissolve the county government comes at a time the battle for the control of the capital pitting Sonko against Badi has intensified. From battling over credit for projects in the capital city to repossession of the governor’s residence and grabbed plots, the war is exposing the tug-of-war between a politician eager to save face and a man on a mission to save the capital city from rot. It took a nasty turn after Badi visited a grabbed public land in Highridge, Westlands constituency accompanied by area MP Tim Wanyonyi, area MCA Jayendra Malde and a section of Nairobi MCAs.During the visit, Badi ordered the private developer to vacate the land and all ongoing activities at the land be stopped immediately and the land revert to the ministry of Health.
Badi has downplayed threats by Sonko to withdraw from the agreement that saw NMS take control of key operations of the city. In the deal, Sonko surrendered health, transport, public works, utilities and ancillary services and planning and development departments, in what officially left him a skeleton county chief. According to sources, those pushing for dissolution now argue, unlike before when a body could not manage city services, NMS is in place and delivering core services hence no need to panic as before. The question being, was NMS created to pave way for the dissolution of the county government by Uhuru?