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New warpath as Sonko, NMS fight to control billions

By Eric Wainaina
Monday, August 10th, 2020
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. Photo/PD/FILE
In summary

The renewed feud over Nairobi County Assembly Clerk’s post and the fresh bid by a section of ward representatives allied to Governor Mike Sonko to impeach Speaker Beatrice Elachi have exposed a vicious war for control of City Hall’s billions.

From an embattled governor desperate to regain control of a city, a Speaker fighting a second ouster bid, two Clerks fighting tooth and nail to keep their jobs, a newly recruited Clerk facing hurdles to a public relations chief now in the clerk’s desk, these factors have formed a lethal combination that has divided the leadership.

Though the war has been packaged as normal politics, interviews and documents seen by People Daily exposes intense fight for the soul of the assembly with a budget of over Sh2 billion and also critical in running of the Executive as well as plot to frustrate Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) which took over key functions that control billions.

Presently, a section of pro-Sonko MCAs led by South B’s Waithera Chege are plotting to impeach Elachi, Jacob Ngwele a perceived ally of Sonko is fighting to get his Clerk’s job back after the court reinstated him so is Deputy Clerk Adah Onyango recently interdicted over fraud and insubordination allegations.

In the same war that has opened another fight for signatories of assembly’s account at Central Bank of Kenya, Edward Gichana who was recently recruited to replace Ngwele but his appointment was nullified by the court last week as well as Pauline Akuku who has been acting as a deputy Clerk after Onyango’s interdiction.

Sonko who has been operating from the streets after he was forced out of office by a fraud case has been accused on sponsoring Elachi’s statement and pushing the return of Ngwele who MCAs have accused of graft, and Onyango to form a favourable lineup that will help him push his agenda mainly against NMS.

Minority Whip Peter Imwatok yesterday said the controversy around the Clerk’s office and the impeachment, which the MCAs says Sonko is a factor in, has been motivated by a fight over the control of the billions in Nairobi and a hidden plot to have NMS operations declared illegal through the courts.

 “What Nairobians must understand is that Ngwele doesn’t work for himself, he works for the interests of Sonko, why? Sonko knows that the court had given a ruling that in 90 days, the county assembly ought to regularise the Deed of Transfer.

What was never disclosed in court is that already when Sonko signed the transfer, the assembly was notified and asked to ratify facts, which Sonko never disclosed” the Makongeni MCA said.

Wrongful hiring

He added: “What is Sonko dying for is to get back a Clerk that he can control to reverse that resolution of the assembly so that within 90 days, he goes to court and says that this same assembly has not ratified the Deed of Transfer so that NMS operations becomes an illegality and the court will not have a choice but to declare the Deed of Transfer an illegality.”

Ngwele who was seconded from the National Assembly in 2019, was sacked last year following a recommendation by an 11-member ad hoc committee that was chaired by Kabiro Mbugua (nominated) which resolved that he was hired wrongly and is currently fighting to keep his job after last week  Justice Maureen Onyango ordered  to step aside from his position pending the hearing and determination of the case he has challenged Gichana’s appointment.

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