Sonko, Badi war escalates as 10 KDF officers move to City Hall

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Nairobi Metropolitan Services director Maj-Gen Mohamed Badi. Photo/PD/FILE

Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah

More military officers have been deployed at City Hall to take over operations in a move which raises the stakes in the supremacy battle between Governor Mike Sonko and Nairobi Metropolitan Services director Maj-Gen Mohamed Badi.

The 10 officers, who are drawn from the Kenya Army and Kenya Air Force, have been seconded to the NMS, a body created by President Uhuru Kenyatta after Sonko surrendered key functions to the National government.

The officers include Brig  F Leuria, Maj  JV Mbithi, Maj  AN Nyakundi, Maj JK Njoroge from the Kenya Army, Lt  JK Biomdo and Maj AL Musoma from the Kenya Air Force who are part of several military officers seconded to other departments, including Ministry of Health.

“The Defence Council approved secondment to the NMS and Ministry of Health of the aforementioned General/Senior/officers...” reads part of the letter signed by Dr Ibrahim Mohamed.

The decision to deploy military personnel is reportedly aimed at weeding out corruption, instil discipline among county askaris and  kick out cartels that have taken control of City Hall.

Streamline services

NMS director Badi, who has promised to transform the city’s fortunes, recently launched a clean-up exercise.

The establishment of the management body has faced a lot of criticism with human rights activist Ndung’u Wainaina terming it illegal. 

“NMS is unconstitutional agency interfering with constitutional governance system. Secondly, this militarisation of civilian governance must be rejected,” he said in a tweet yesterday.

NMS has advertised 1,000 new vacancies for enforcement officers and constables as it seeks to streamline service delivery and replace ageing officers who are nearing retirement age.

Governor Sonko last week vowed to trash the Deed of Transfer signed between him and the national government, saying he had been disrespected by unnamed officials in the office of the President.

Last week, Sonko sought the intervention of a court after fumigation and sanitation booths that had been erected in various parts of the city by the Sonko Rescue Team were destroyed at night.

Sonko’s flexing of muscles has coincided with deepening cracks in Jubilee Party. The infighting pits one faction allied to Deputy President William Ruto and another which gravitates towards the President.

Sonko has attributed his woes to a recent meeting with Ruto, saying some of his security officers were withdrawn shortly after the meeting.

“We have democracy and freedom of association in Kenya. This frustration, humiliation and embarrassment won’t last forever,” he tweeted.

The governor, who is facing corruption cases in court and has been barred from his office,  has threatened to pull out of the deal that saw the county transfer key functions including health and finance to the NMS. 

He is accusing senior officers in the Office of President of hatching a plan to finish him politically.

“I was just told it is a good thing on service delivery for the people of Nairobi as I deal with my court cases. And since I love the people, I had to accept the deal even without going through the document. I did not know things would turn against us,” he said of the February deal signed at State House.

During the function that was presided over by the President and witnessed by Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa signed on behalf of the national government. 

Workers protest

“I have started the process of terminating the deed, just like any other ordinary contract. I will personally go to court to have it terminated,” he said. 

Sonko has since refused to hand over crucial finance documents to Maj-Gen Badi headed NMS.

He has also declined to hand Sh15 billion to NMS, thus crippling its operations. More than 800 enforcement officers have been seconded to the nascent administration.

However, the Kenya County Government Workers Union, Nairobi branch, has moved to court seeking to quash the secondment of the 6,852 workers by the Public Service Commission to NMS.

Branch secretary Boniface Waweru told the press that the decision to move to court was informed by the fact that the workers were never consulted before the implementation of the redeployment.

He also complained of confusion in the implementation of the Deed of Transfer of functions saying workers were receiving instructions from different quarters.

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