• Sakaja said that the purpose of the Committee is to address the matter of pending legal bills claimed against the County Government.
• The Committee is chaired by Kamotho Waiganjo and Sylvia Mueni Kassanga is the Vice-chairperson.
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has extended the term of the committee verifying city’s Sh21 billion legal pending bills.
In a gazette notice dated May 19, Sakaja extended the tenure for four months.
“ It is notified for the general information of the public that I, Sakaja Arthur Johnson, Governor, Nairobi City County, has extended the term of the Committee on the Review, Scrutiny and Verification of Pending Legal Bills, appointed vide Gazette Notice No. 451 of 2023 for a period of four (4) months, with effect from the May, 17 2023,” the gazette notice read.
The 14-member committee to review the county’s legal pending bills was gazetted in January.
Sakaja said that the purpose of the Committee is to address the matter of pending legal bills claimed against the County Government.
The Committee is chaired by Kamotho Waiganjo and Sylvia Mueni Kassanga is the Vice-chairperson.
Waiganjo is the husband of Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru while Mueni was a former nominated Senator.
Other members include Law Society of Kenya Eric Theuri, Aldrin Ojiambo, Dulma Farah Mohamed, David Kabeberi, Dickson Mwenze, Elias Mutuma, Jackson Onyango, Emily Chelule, Victor Swanya and Wangechi Wahome Ng’ayu.
The committee will also have a joint Secretariat to the committee whose members are Beatrice Auma Otieno and Francis Njoroge.
The committee after its gazettement within four months was to submit to the Governor a final report detailing recommendations towards the streamlining of the procurement of legal services within the County Government and ensuring that future escalation of pending legal bills is avoided.
However, the time has been extended.
In the performance of its functions, the committee will be expected to have access to reports of any previous investigations relevant to its mandate and submit monthly progress reports, and a final report to Governor Sakaja.
Nairobi's total pending bills stand at Sh100.2 billion
After getting to office, Governor Sakaja questioned the county’s legal pending bills.
He said the legal pending bills were an area of concern yet the county rarely wins court cases.
“My administration will look into the pending bills because Sh21 billion only from the legal department doesn’t add up. If you look at some cases they are very timid but have a very high quotation,” Sakaja said.
Legal payment from City Hall has been in the spotlight attracting investigation agencies.
In January 2021, the Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission commenced investigations on the payment of legal fees to 26 law firms by City Hall.
Also, the county assembly has over time lamented and raised concerns over money paid to legal firms.
In the 2016-17 financial year report, then Auditor General Edward Ouko was concerned by the money that the legal department spent, citing Sh592.4 million in unauthorised payments.
In the period under review, the department’s legal costs were Sh645.3 million against the approved budgetary allocation of Sh105 million.
According to the report, the department paid 12 law firms Sh314.4 million.
The money was spent outside the Integrated Financial Management Information System.