RIGHT DECISION, WRONG WAY

Nairobi county takeover needed better planning

Rushed transfer of functions to national government likely to cause legal problems.

In Summary
  • National government will now manage health, transport,  public works, planning and development in Nairobi.
  • Governor Mike Sonko signed the transfer agreement with Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa on Tuesday.
Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko after they signed the agreement at State House, Nairobi, on February 25, 2020.
Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko after they signed the agreement at State House, Nairobi, on February 25, 2020.
Image: PSCU

On Tuesday afternoon Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko signed an agreement with Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa transferring the functions of health, transport,  public works, planning and development to the national government.

Probably Nairobi, the capital city, should be under the administration of the national government. There are extra responsibilities in the capital city and extra resources required. That is why capital cities like Washington, DC, in America and Canberra in Australia have a special status.

But even if it was the right decision to take over the administration of Nairobi, it was done in the wrong way. A governor cannot just sign an agreement and hand over the functions of a county without the County Assembly passing a motion in support.

 

Otherwise, a governor of any county could hand over its functions to the national government without consultation.

The National Assembly should also have endorsed the transfer because it is a constitutional matter with implications for the annual Budget.

There is a high risk the courts will now rule  the transfer of county functions was illegal. That inconvenience could have been avoided with proper forward planning.

Quote of the day: "All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy."

Spike Milligan
The Irish comedian died on February 27, 2002.