Let me do my job, Sakaja tells Kenya Kwanza critics

Friday, January 6th, 2023 07:30 | By
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja PHOTO/Courtesy

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has told his critics to keep off and let him to manage affairs of the county.

Appearing to respond to some senior Kenya Kwanza leaders who have openly opposed some of his policies, Sakaja said Nairobi will change regardless of people he termed as “noisemakers.”

Governor, who yesterday spoke while receiving a report from a taskforce he formed to review the county health system, said he will continue rolling out his planned changes and that there will be no turning back.

“I have heard talk that Nairobi was like this before I was born but I want to tell them that’s why I am the governor. We must change our city and there is no shortcut to that.”

“Nairobi is not competing with Kisumu or any other city. We are competing with other international cities and to achieve that we have to make some changes,” he said.

Sakaja, in particular, said his quest to close bars in residential areas was on course, maintaining that he will push it until the end.

“When we say that we want our children to have peaceful nights, to sleep without noise we mean it. We will make sure there is silence in our neighbourhoods. That one has to be done. Those who have bars can do their business but they should be considerate. It can’t just be about profit, they should reduce the noise,” he said.

His remarks came in the wake of sustained attacks by leaders who claimed that his policies were affecting businesses owned by Mt Kenya.

Sakaja’s policy pronouncements banning nightclub operations in residential areas and restricting entry by public service vehicles to the central business district have triggered a reprimand by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and top Mt Kenya leaders. “We do not want his high speed (in making decisions) and I have summoned him for a sitting ... It is a ‘no’ for any of his decisions that might have a negative effect on our people,” Rigathi said recently. “We made you governor and we are vigilant on our interests and we must get involved in those decisions that have an effect on our people,” the DP added.

In its report, the task force chaired by Dr Gitahi Githinji recommended that the health budget be increased from the current 21 per cent allocation.

“We noticed that Nairobi was allocating the least in terms of percentage compared to other counties. Nairobi was allocating less than Sh2,000 per person per year. This is very different from other counties which actually allocate Sh2,800 per person per year,” he said.

Disease burden

Taskforce also recommended that  the budget be increased from Sh8 billion to Sh12 billion per year.

The Gitahi team asked the county to develop a relationship with Kenya Medical Supplies Agency to ensure medicine is supplied on time.

“We must reduce the disease burden. The county should focus on reviewing public environmental health and water, sanitation and hygiene services,” Gitahi noted.

Team also proposed that the county adopts an integrated health information system.

The task force also called for review of the entire referral system.

“We have a very unclear referral system. Some people are being referred when they should not. We need to have a proper referral system that is documented and gated. People don’t have to walk to Mama Lucy or Kenyatta because they have a headache,” he said.

 The team also proposed the need to have a working emergency system that will deal with some of these cases.

Report also recommended the promotion of healthcare workers on performance criteria with priority given to those who have stagnated for 10 years.

It was also proposed that the Sakaja administration to carry out proper customer care training after it emerged that there are still staff who are rude to patients.

The report will now be tabled in the County Assembly.

 Other members of task force included Dorcas Kemunto, Dr Mercy Mwangangi, Dr William Fryda, Dr Anastacia Nyalita and Prof Olive Mugenda.

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