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Uhuru, NSC step in after Badi-Sonko turf war turns ugly in city

By Eric Wainaina
Thursday, August 6th, 2020
NMS Director-General, Mohamed Badi.
In summary

Despite a series of interventions by President Uhuru Kenyatta to restore sanity in Nairobi since beleaguered Governor Mike Sonko took over in 2017, the mess at the country’s capital remains a headache for the Head of State as leaders engage in ugly fights that continue to embarrass the county.

Yesterday, the escalating feud between Sonko and the  County Assembly and Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) boss Major-General Mohamed Badi for control of City Hall operations was subjected to the country’s top security organ chaired by Uhuru as part of a continued effort to bring sanity in a capital that is East Africa’s diplomatic hub.

Shootout 

The City Hall wars were on the agenda of the National Security Council (NSC), the first ever to touch on matters of a county government, following a spate of violent altercations at the assembly that culminated into a shootout lost week as Ward Representatives fired at each other over a plot to impeach Speaker Beatrice Elach, leading to the hospitalisation of Mlango Kubwa MCA Mutheu Musyimi.

Interior PS Karanja Kibicho who sits in the council said yesterday the fights by the city leaders was a concern especially after MCAs engaged in a shootout, forcing the ministry to withdraw guns from at least 14 of them over fears that the wrangles could turn deadly.

“You look at the ceiling and you might think that is a battlefield due to bullet marks. That is irresponsible use of firearms and people should not bring politics when we are discussing security issues.

That is why we are meeting today (yesterday), because those MCAs broke the law by shooting at City Hall. What would be talking about now if they killed each other?” Kibicho posed.

He added: “They (MCAs) have gotten to a level of being discussed by the National Security Council.”

City Hall face has almost turned into a battlefield often characterised with police not only robbing teargas to disperse aggressive members, but permanently pitching tent at entrances and exits to prevent the frequent chaos.

Last week Interior CS Fred Matiangi, who described City Hall as a ‘War Zone” said he would table a paper before the Security Council detailing the policing challenges for advice on how best to tackle them in a manner he said may be painful “but we have to deal with the menace once and for all.”

“Tough decisions have to be made. It will not be a whimsical decision but we will go through the path of the law,” the CS said.

The violence saw the National Police Service last week transfer Nairobi Region police boss Philip Ndolo to the police Training College, Kiganjo, replacing him with Coast Region boss Yakub Rashid. 

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