VINDICATED?

Kidero gloats over his reign as city revenue hits all-time low

Former governor says the meagre collection proves he was hands-on in managing the capital.

In Summary

• During Kidero’s tenure, Sonko, who was then a senator, frequently castigated him for running down the county and accused him of perpetuating corruption.

• At one time, Sonko got physical with Kidero in Parliament during his (Kidero's) grilling by a Senate oversight committee over audit queries.

Incoming Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko receives documents from outgoing Governor Evans Kidero after his swearing-in in Uhuru Park on August 21, 2017.
Incoming Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko receives documents from outgoing Governor Evans Kidero after his swearing-in in Uhuru Park on August 21, 2017.
Image: PSCU

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has gloated at the all-time low revenue collected by his successor's administration in the last financial year.

City Hall netted Sh8.3 billion, missing its annual target by more than Sh9.2 billion and posting the worst revenue collection since devolution was incepted.

Kidero, the pioneer city governor who ran the county from 2013 to 2017 when Mike Sonko took up the reins from him, said the meagre collection proves he was hands-on in managing the capital.

"History is now proving that I was very effective in managing and nurturing the productivity of the workers and projects,” he told the Star.

Kidero, in apparent mockery of his successor and celebration of City Hall's tribulations, said time has proved that running the city — the country’s capital — is not a walk in the park.

During Kidero’s tenure, Sonko, who was then a senator, frequently castigated him for running down the county and accused him of perpetuating corruption.

At one time, Sonko got physical with Kidero in Parliament during his (Kidero's) grilling by a Senate oversight committee over audit queries.

“Everybody can now see that we were working. It is easier to talk from outside but now everybody is seeing it. I was effective. The kind of revenue being posted now is lower than even what the council used to collect,” Kidero said.

According to reports by the Controller of Budget on the city’s own-source revenue performance, the county has never met its target since the advent of devolution in 2013.

However, the collections have never dipped below 50 per cent. On average, the county has been raising between 70 and 85 per cent of its target. But during the financial year ending June 30, Sonko’s administration missed the target by 52.5 per cent, putting a dent on the flamboyant governor’s record at City Hall.

The shortfall was partly due to Covid-19 pandemic that hit businesses and related activities. The contagion hit the country in March, with Nairobi being the epicentre.

Low revenue collection also happened during the year that the county ended its relationship with the Web-Tribe, a tech firm that had been collecting revenues for the city since 2014.

The county’s core functions were also taken over by the national government and the revenue collections outsourced to the Kenya Revenue Authority in the dying months of the financial year.

In March, its first month as the county’s revenue collector, KRA collected Sh495.5 million. It raised Sh368.8 million in April and Sh412.1 million the following month. In June, it netted Sh588.8 million.

In 2018-19, Sonko’s administration raised Sh10.2 billion against a target of Sh17.2 billion.

During Kidero’s last year in office, 2017-18, the city collected Sh10.1 billion against a target of Sh17.2 billion. Interruptions caused by prolonged electioneering was blamed for the underperformance.

In 2015-16, Kidero’s administration posted Sh11.7 billion, Sh3.6 billion short of the annual target. The year before, City Hall collected Sh11.6 billion. This was an improvement compared to Sh9.3 billion raised in 2013-14, Kidero’s first year at the helm of the county government.