Raila, Uhuru allies foil move to stop transfer of functions in Nairobi

Friday, February 28th, 2020 00:00 |
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. Photo/PD/FILE

Allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga on Thursday foiled a scheme by Deputy President William Ruto’s supporters in the Senate to scuttle the transfer of key functions from Nairobi County to the national government.

Senate Minority leader Senator James Orengo, Raila’s close ally, on Thursday prevailed on Speaker Kenneth Lusaka to overturn directives issued by his deputy Senator Kithure Kindiki to investigate the takeover of the city county functions.

“Mr Speaker, I wish to urge you to review this decision, because the Deputy Speaker, exercised his discretion under Standing Order Number One that is only to the extent of making a decision on a procedure question,” said Orengo.


He added: “In the practice of parliament, motions of adjournment to discuss a matter of national interest never have a resolution except unless only a resolution of adjournment,”

Senator Kindiki, perceived to be DP Ruto’s ardent supporter, had on Tuesday directed Devolution and Intergovernmental and Justice and Legal Affairs committees, both chaired by Ruto’s strong men, to investigate the purported take-over.

The directive came after a five-hour heated debate called by Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, also a Ruto confidant.

Murkomen, had proposed the matter be handled by two committees, chaired by Senators John Kinyua (Laikipia) and Samson Cherargei (Nandi) all Ruto’s associates.

In what exposed the widening rift in the ruling Jubilee party, Murkomen, who, ordinary, is expected to execute and advance the government’s agenda on the floor, tore into the deal terming unconstitutional and illegal for its non-compliance with the law.

In a strongly-worded statement, the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator, who is representing Governor Mike Sonko in the Sh357 million graft case, said the transfer of the functions will leave Nairobi a shell ripe for dissolution.


Embattled Nairobi Governor is a close ally of the DP and thus Murkomen’s statement rejecting the Uhuru-Sonko deal could be seen as attempts to save him.

Murkumen  said there is an emerging pattern where County Governors are arrested, charged in court for various offences, barred from office and subsequently impeached.  

“It is now evident that this has now moved to the next level where the functions of a County Government can be largely, and more or less in whole, transferred to the National Government so that the County Government is literally left as a shell with no functions to perform,” he said.

The effect of this, he said, is that it provides a hitherto unknown method for the winding up of county governments. 

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