CAPITAL CITY CHAOS

Government should take up Nairobi management

In Summary

• BBI report recommends that Nairobi cease to be a county and be given special status as a capital city

• Governor Mike Sonko and various Nairobi officials are accused of multiple economic crimes by the DPP and EACC

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko after being arrested on December 6, 2019.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko after being arrested on December 6, 2019.
Image: REUTERS

Yesterday morning the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered the arrest of Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko.

He is accused of taking county funds and public property, laundering money and other economic crimes. A garbage contract for Sh357 million is involved.

 

The courts will decide whether Sonko is guilty or innocent. But what is certain is that Nairobi County is in a shambles.

There is still no Deputy Governor. Over 100 officials remain on suspension including county executives who enjoy full pay. Governor Sonko micromanages and decides everything.

From 2013 to 2017, under Governor Evans Kidero, Nairobi collected around Sh11.6 billion a year. Since 2017, the county has been collecting just over Sh10 billion annually. Now collections have fallen even further following the ill-thought cancellation of the JamboPay contract.

Regrettably, the national government now needs to step in rescue the rudderless ship that is Nairobi County.

The report of the Building Bridges Initiative recommended that Nairobi should cease to be a county and "be accorded a special status as capital city" managed by the national government.

This recommendation should be part of a BBI package passed by a referendum or Parliament but can we afford to wait?

The arrest of Sonko effectively mandates government to step in and immediately take over management of the capital city Nairobi.

Quote of the day: "Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak."

Marcus Tullius Cicero 
The Roman orator was assassinated on December 7, 43BC