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February 20, 2019

Who’s Simon Mbugua? De facto deputy governor? City MCAs ask Sonko

EALA MP Simon Mbugua at County Hall, Nairobi, on November 30 last year /JACK OWUOR
EALA MP Simon Mbugua at County Hall, Nairobi, on November 30 last year /JACK OWUOR

MCAs want Governor Mike Sonko to come out clear on the role of EALA MP Simon Mbugua at City Hall. They have accused him of running the show since Polycarp Igathe resigned as Deputy Governor.

Yesterday, they adjourned their normal business to discuss the conduct of the former Kamukunji legislator. They said Mbugua has been insulting, intimidating and threatening county employees and leaders.

Mbugua dismissed the claims as lies and a witch-hunt meant to malign him.

Waithaka MCA Anthony Kiragu said Roysambu ward rep Peter Warutere was recently threatened by goons sent by Mbugua. “We want to know under whose capacity is Simon issuing orders and threatening members of this House and staff,” he said.

Kiragu said Mbugua has even been attending Executive Committee meetings, county workshops and is frequently seen in City Hall corridors. He said Mbugua has been ordering “illegal” impounding of vehicles and ordering county staff,, including CECs, on what to do.

“We can conclude it’s because of Mbugua that this county does not have a deputy governor,” Kiragu said.

Speaking to the Star, another MCA accused Mbugua of influencing key decisions, especially on tender awards. He said Mbugua has locked horns with at least two executives, who have accused him of meddling in their work.

“One CEC recently threatened to resign. He [Mbugua] almost fought with another one over the award of a tender for yellow fever services,” he said.

The MCA said Mbugua’s company was awarded the tender to provide yellow fever services. “He [Mbugua] is so close to the governor. It seems the governor obeys whatever he says,” he said.

But Mbugua said he is just an ally of the county chief. “If someone says I own a company, he should give the name, registration number and all the other details,” he said. “I’ve never done business with the county government of Nairobi. Even former Governor Evans Kidero is my friend, but I never did business with his administration.”

Mbugua said he has not been harassaing or intimidating anybody. He said he has never sat in the CEC meetings and his friendship with Sonko should not be misunderstood.

“Some people are just out to tarnish my name. The law is very clear on who should sit in the CEC meetings. Strangers can’t be allowed there,” he said.

Warutere said he went through a “disturbing ordeal”.

“We know power is sometimes delegated, but I know the governor has not delegated any duty to one Simon Mbugua. Mbugua is feared more than the governor. But we want to say he is not bigger than this assembly. We can’t work through intimidation,” he said.

Minority chief whip Peter Imwatok said Mbugua introduced himself as Sonko’s assistant during a workshop at Rainbow Resort in Ruiru, Kiambu.

Efforts to have Sonko’s comment were unsuccessful. He did not respond to our message or return calls. His office promised to respond, but this was not forthcoming.

Igathe quit as Sonko’s deputy last month. He said he failed to earn Sonko’s trust.


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