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April 24, 2018

Igathe resigns as Deputy Governor, says Sonko doesn't trust him

Nairobi governor Mike Sonko and his Deputy Polycarp Igathe at the swearing in at Uhuru Park on August 21, 2017. Enos Teche
Nairobi governor Mike Sonko and his Deputy Polycarp Igathe at the swearing in at Uhuru Park on August 21, 2017. Enos Teche

Polycarp Igathe has resigned as the Nairobi deputy governor. Igathe said he has failed to earn the trust of governor Mike Sonko. 

Through his twitter handle, Igathe said that he wishes to resign to avoid "abusing or betraying my oath of office to Kenyans, Nairobians & my family."

"Dear Nairobians, it is with a heavy heart that I resign my seat as elected Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County effective 1 pm on Jan 31, 2018. I regret I have failed to earn the trust of the Governor to enable me to drive Admin & Management of the county."

Read: Sonko and Igathe fall out as State House takes charge of City Hall

He added: " Without fear, favour or ill will I step down to avoid abusing or betraying my oath of office to Kenyans, Nairobians & my family. Thank you for the encouraging support given to me so far."

Before his resignation, Igathe had denied claims of a fallout with Sonko.

His resignation also comes after massive complaints from Nairobians that the two have not been able to do a better job in the city.

According to article 182 of the constitution, Igathe must now submit his resignation letter to the speaker of the county assembly.

Currently, there is no law providing for the mechanism by which a deputy governor who has ceased to hold office can be replaced.

That means that the governor will continue in office without a deputy governor until such a law is enacted.

If in this circumstances the governor ceases to hold office, then the county speaker assumes office for an election to be held within 60 days.

Currently, Parliament is seeking to enact a law providing for the mechanism of filling a vacancy in the office of the deputy governor in a bid to address the gaps in the constitution.

The County government [amendment] bill, 2017 has been published and will be tabled in Parliament in February.

In December, the Star revealed that State House is virtually running City Hall, making key decisions and appointments and reducing Governor Sonko to a disgruntled figurehead.

An intergovernmental committee in the President's Office was said to be deciding major projects, awarding mega contracts and filling influential posts in the capital.

This was all part of Jubilee's pre-election script to safeguard state interests in the capital, which generates 60 per cent of Kenya's GDP.

On November 8, President Uhuru Kenyatta told Sonko to his face to focus on politics and the leave day-to-day running of the city to Igathe and Tourism CS Najib Balala.

Igathe, former MD of Vivo Energy, is a well-connected professional.

Sonko, however, defended his working relationship with his deputy.

He dismissed the Star report that he had been relegated to a bystander in the running of city affairs by intervention from the Office of the President.

“I’m in very good books with my deputy Polycarp Igathe. The national government owes us over Sh80 billion and already they’ve started releasing this money to us in bits,” Sonko posted on his Facebook page. Instead, he hit back at Star writers, accusing them of blackmail for “refusing to prequalify (your) proxy companies to do supplies in Nairobi county corruptly.”

Also read: Sonko dispels reports of a rift with Igathe 

 

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