No let up in Sonko woes as fresh ouster bid beckons

Thursday, November 26th, 2020 00:00 |
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during a past apperence in court. Photo/PD/File

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s woes appear to be piling up with each passing day, after Ward Reps started collecting signatures to impeach him over his failure to approve the Sh37.7 billion budget.

The MCAs are also baying for Sonko’s blood over his refusal to work with the government appointed Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General, Major -General Mohamed Abdalla Badi.

They claim  that Sonko’s failure to approve the budget has plunged the county government into financial crisis.

The resolve to impeach Sonko has led to a unity of purpose between the Jubilee Party and their Orange Democratic Movement counterparts. The two groups previously had a frosty relationship.

Minority Chief Whip Peter Imwatok, who is one of the brains behind the fresh bid to impeach the flamboyant governor, says the latter would be given an opportunity to defend himself, and should he be found to have flouted the law, the MCAs would have to kick him out of City Hall.

Making adjustments

“For a long time, the governor has been treating us to plenty of drama and we are tired.

We have never known reasons why he has rejected Badi, who President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed,” said another civic leader who insisted on remaining anonymous, due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Sources at City Hall intimated to the People Daily that the impeachment process, is being spearheaded by Majority Leader Abdi Guyo, Majority Chief Whip and his deputy Paul Kados Kiguathi and Waithera Chege respectively.

Though the three confirmed their move to lead the latest onslaught against Sonko, they declined to comment further.

Early this month, Sonko blamed the assembly for rejecting an amendment he had introduced on the county’s 2020-21 budget.

Some 88 out of 122 MCAs had voted against Sonko’s memorandum reaching the two-thirds majority vote, needed to reject the memorandum that had sought to reduce the proposed appropriations budget from the MCA’s recommendation of Sh 37.7 billion to Sh 31. 6 billion.

In the Sh37.7 billion budget, Sonko’s administration was to receive Sh8.4 billion, leaving NMS with Sh27.1 billion.

The county assembly was to be allocated Sh2 billion from Sonko’s account. Sonko has since declined to append his signature on that proposal, earning the wrath of the MCAs.

One MCA who spoke on condition of anonymity to  the People Daily, confirmed that fresh plans to impeach Sonko are advanced stage, with the motion expected to be tabled before the assembly anytime next week, once the collection of signatures has been finalised.

Reached for comment, Sonko’s spokesperson Ben Mulwa said though the governor was aware of the fresh impeachment process, he will not sign the proposed budget until the law is followed.

“Let them continue with their circus but we will not bow to them. No amount of intimidation will make the governor sign the budget proposed by them,” said Mulwa.

Almost all the MCAs are expressing their disappointment with Sonko’s modus operandi, as they showered Badi with accolades for his alleged sterling performance.

“Badi has done extremely well. Nairobians want someone who will deliver, not an individual out to perpetuate hooliganism and social disorder,” Kayole Central ward MCA Jeremiah Karani said.

Following the transfer of four core functions to National Government, NMS has been allocated Sh18.0 billion for recurrent expenditure and Sh9.1 billion for development.

In his memorandum, Sonko had indicated that the submitted budget did not include any unutilised cash balances at the end of 2019-2020 financial year.

“The county assembly adopted the submitted budget estimates with amendments on June 30.

The proposed amendments were re-allocations and did not result to an increase of the budget from the submitted subject of Sh31.4 billion,” reads the memorandum.

Sonko further accused the county assembly of having exceeded the one percent threshold in making adjustments to various votes.

 However, the Ward Reps early this month rejected his bid to amend the budget and incorporate his proposals.

As a result of the rejection of  the budget, Sonko has threatened to move to court accusing some unnamed individuals working with some State house operatives to allocate NMS more money at the expense of his administration.

Sonko claimed the MCAs want to illegally allocate funds meant for City Hall to NMS despite the clear separation of powers after four key functions were transferred to the national government.

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