SAFER UNDER STATE

Sonko-Uhuru deal will secure Nairobi's global hub status

Devolution in Nairobi is a story of betrayal and false hopes

In Summary

• Robbery has always been the trend of the day even with big numbers of county officers and police. 

• Capital has been characterised by a poor drainage system, water shortages and flooding during the rainy season. 

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.
OFFICIALS CONSTANTLY FIGHTING: 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.
Image: PSCU

Nairobi is key to the growth of Kenya and the larger East Africa region. The capital city of Kenya, which currently has the largest inland container depot, a national park and busiest airport in East and Central Africa. 

The standard gauge railway has added to the capital's assets not to mention obvious facts such as hosting ministries and embassies.

With all these and many more critical roles it plays, Nairobi should have been handed over to the national government at the onset of the new Constitution in 2010.

With the millions of businesses paying to the county government, they deserve five-star services but since devolution was introduced, Nairobi has been characterised by a poor drainage system, water shortages and flooding during the rainy season. Garbage and insecurity have become permanent problems while county rates keep rising every single year.

With populist politics in Nairobi diverting attention from service delivery, the national government should appoint the city's managers based on skills and expertise and not popularity.

The deal by Governor Mike Sonko and President Uhuru Kenyatta to hand over crucial services to the national government is laudable to avoid confusion like recently during the demolition of buildings. Blame was passed back and forth across the county government, Nema and the Nairobi Regeneration Committee.

It is unfair that only the residents of Nairobi decide the fate of the capital through the ballot while every Kenyan get affected by the city's management. 

Boda boda riders have been banned from plying within the city centre denying them clients. 

Robbery has always been the trend of the day even with big numbers of county officers and police. Devolution in Nairobi is a story of betrayal and false hopes. The solution is within reach and Nairobi is ready for it. 

Nairobi has investors from all over the country with the majority of companies operating from the capital. 

Nairobi is an international hub and we should treat it as such. Modern markets should be established for small traders, cost of power in industrial zones should be reduced and a lasting solution worked out for traffic congestion. 

This cannot be achieved when MCAs and the governor are constantly falling out leading to firing and resignations. 

Democracy shouldn't become a curse. Large cities can fall due to wrong policies and Nairobi will not be an exception. 

Kisumu