Kenyans should elect leaders with integrity

Monday, December 21st, 2020 00:00 | By
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. Photo/PD/FILE

Nairobi County has been thrust into a leadership crisis following the impeachment of Mike Sonko as governor by the Senate last week.

The Constitution assigns the Senate the singular responsibility of being the guardian and protector of devolution.

Impeachment is deployed as the instrument of last resort on solving governance issues both at the national and county levels.

That the Senate had to take such a drastic decision speaks volumes about the magnitude of the governance challenges in the city county.

Sonko was indicted for gross violation of the Constitution, violation of procurement laws, abuse of office and a breach of integrity

Nairobi has for the past three years been held at ransom and treated to shenanigans attributable to the incompetence, ineptitude and ego trips of one man at the helm of its leadership.

It is apparent that Sonko was a man out of depth and not sufficiently talented for the huge task of running the country’s most populous county, which is also the diplomatic hub of the region and host of the only United Nations office in the developing world.

It should be emphasised that Nairobians wouldn’t have found themselves in the current quagmire had the governor appointed a deputy who would have continued to discharge the responsibilities of the office in case a vacancy occurred.

The Nairobi leadership tragedy is a commentary on personalisation of public office, impunity and hubris.

The governor failed to appoint a deputy to sustain a sense of a ransom even in the face of court orders for political self-preservation.

Further, he has spared no effort to frustrate efforts by the national government to improve service delivery to city residents by creation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services through a transfer agreement that encourages shared responsibility.

But to a large extent, the Sonko impeachment should serve as a point of reflection on the basis of our solidarity with candidates during elections.

We thrive in a political system that seems to reward and rationalise incompetence on the basis of primordial considerations such as tribe and bribery.

True, a lot of deserved blame has been placed on the impeached governor of Nairobi.

But it must be pointed out that Nairobi residents have a share of blame because the leadership is a collective reflection of their decision making.

The impeachment presents another opportunity for sobriety about the leadership of the country’s most critical county.

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