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January 21, 2019

City MPs unhappy with Sonko, say staff work in fear

Embakasi MP Babu Owino. /MAURICE ALAL
Embakasi MP Babu Owino. /MAURICE ALAL

Nairobi MPs have expressed disappointment and concern over Governor Mike Sonko’s administration style.

Babu Owino of Embakasi East yesterday said the Nairobi government has hardworking staff, but they work in fear. “There cannot be proper delivery if the county officials are always in a panic mode and are worried of being randomly sacked or suspended,” he said.

Owino said the governor lacks a proper advisory team and that is why he makes mistakes that have a huge negative impact to Nairobi. “Sonko is a good person, but surrounded by fools. When a good leader is surrounded by fools, his style of leadership will be a sham,” he said.

This week, Sonko’s cabinet has been on the spot after one of the best performing executives, Janet Ouko, resigned. She said she could not continue working under intimidation and threats.

His cabinet is operating with only five executives in office – only two have a four-year contract.

Suspensions have been going on. The recent one was last year when he suspended former Devolution executive Vesca Kangogo and county secretary Peter Kariuki for “insubordination.”

Read: Sonko's chaotic management at City Hall

Lang’ata’s Nixon Korir said Sonko was giving priority to projects, which do not directly benefit residents. “When it comes to roads, street lighting, garbage and water, there always seems to be a strain in delivery,” Korir told the Star.

The legislator described Nairobi county as being in a “state of autopilot”. “You cannot suspend people just because they do not agree with your statements or actions. Just like Ouko said, is Sonko the only one who is ever right and the rest are wrong and suspects of bad deeds?” Korir asked.

Makadara MP George Aladwa said Nairobi’s problem is disunity among leaders.

He further said the county cannot operate properly if the availability of the governor is unknown. “He is not operating from his office. Even if you call him, he is not available. What are we to do if the highest ranked leader in the county is not easily accessible?” Aladwa asked.

Nairobi woman rep Esther Passaris said she was shocked to see a committed executive such as Ouko resign.

Related: Sonko needs to change his management style

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