Sonko writes to AG, threatens to withdraw from takeover deal

Sonko says national government has ignored him, adopted bullying attitude against county.

In Summary

• Sonko early in the year signed a deal with the national government that saw four key departments taken over.

•This included County Health services, County Transport services, County Public Works, Utilities and Ancillary services and County Government Planning and Development.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka look on as Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa sign the agreement at State House, Nairobi on February 25, 2020.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka look on as Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa sign the agreement at State House, Nairobi on February 25, 2020.
Image: PSCU

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has declared a dispute between the county and the national government.

Sonko, in a letter to Attorney General Paul Kihara and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa on Friday, said there is bad faith in the take over of key functions of the county by the national government.

Sonko in the letter said the whole takeover deal is grounded in "sheer bad faith and monumental breaches of the intergovernmental relations Act".

"Nairobi county government does not wish to abet and condone these breaches of law," read part of the letter.

The governor said there was neither consultation of any sort regarding the four affected departments nor cooperation by the national government with City Hall prior to the execution of the Deed of Transfer of the functions.

Sonko early in the year signed a deal with the national government that saw four key departments taken over.

This included County Health services, County Transport services, County Public Works, Utilities and Ancillary services and County Government Planning and Development.

But in his letter, Sonko said the deal was an express violation of the Intergovernmental Relations Act.

"It is of critical concern that my administration has been totally ignored by the national government. No single joint committee was or has been formed in furtherance of the envisaged co-operation between the two governments to give effect to this constitutional intendment," Sonko said.

Sonko said the national government has rather adopted an overbearing, superior and scorched attitude so far.

The governor said there is no basis to transfer the functions subject of the Deed of Transfer from the county to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services- NMS.

Sonko argued that the NMS is not rooted in the signed deal and thus incapable of carrying out the subject of the function of the said deed.

"At the core of the National government's approach is an apparent unconstitutional, illegal takeover of the city county government by means of that deed of transfer yet constitutional responsibility of the 4 departments are and remains vested in the Nairobi City County Government," he said.

Sonko said his administration is unwilling to fly blind on the "unlawful scheme".

"Since the national government has adopted a bullying attitude against the Nairobi County Government, it is best that it withdraws from the deed of transfer of the four functions," he said.

Sonko in his argument said the whole deal is fatally flawed and cannot be panel beaten with time where milestones are required by law.

Sonko further claimed that the deployment of Military Officers to NMS to deliver services ought to be delivered by the county is an outright objection.

He said even though the Military released the current Director-General Mohammed Badi to NMS for two years, the constitutional imperative of the National Assembly is integral to such an act yet it is lacking to date.

Sonko said in short, all the statutory avenues to ventilate pertinent issuers prior to the crafting of the deed of transfer of the functions and its final execution were never availed to the Nairobi City County government.