Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko now wants the Nairobi Metropolitan Services office to be placed under his leadership saying it is operating outside the law.
The governor, who appeared before the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee on Wednesday, cited a strained relationship with NMS Director General Maj. General Mohammed Badi.
Sonko claimed that the NMS boss has been blackmailing him with impeachment threats and even barring him from attending NMS functions.
Sonko told the Senators that even though he supports the President’s agenda of transforming Nairobi County, he is appalled that NMS wants to portray him as a failure.
To better serve city residents, Sonko said there is need for the Senate to make NMS an entity under Nairobi County so as operate within the law.
As currently formulated, the governor said, he can’t directly transfer money to the agency.
“I am not a failure, I have done a lot for this county and I don’t want to be portrayed as a failure, I know Nairobi might not be a County after constitutional changes, I might want to vie in Machakos, Mombasa Kilifi or even Kwale, what will I tell the people if they think that I couldn’t perform in Nairobi?” Sonko posed.
The governor did not table responses to the audit queries for 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 Financial Years as requested forcing the committee to adjourn. He argued that has no access to the county office after he was barred by the courts after he was charged with graft in December last year.
“I was charged in court and barred from accessing office or interacting with staff. This ruling has really affected my work,” said Sonko.
Sonko said that a move by the NMS leadership to transfer his staff “illegally” had disrupted normal operations of his administration.
“NMS has been seconding staff illegally, interrupting my operations and therefore I have been unable to get the documents to table before this committee,” he said.
For the standoff with NMS to be addressed, Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo advised Sonko to file a petition at the senate detailing his woes soonest.
“We must make a decision. The governor has given his reasons that is affecting the work. The matter is not just facing Samburu. As far as NMS is concerned, he has right. For Senate to substantially canvass this matter you should have a motion,” said Dullo.
NMS took over four key county functions surrendered by Sonko in March this year. They are health services, transport, planning and development and public works and utilities.
But Sonko seems dissatisfied with the deal between him and the national government.
Last month, the High Court declared the deed of transfer of functions of Nairobi County to National Government unlawful and irregular.
Justice Hellen Wasilwa ruled that the deal that was signed at State House in presence of Sonko, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa was not approved by the County Assembly thus unlawful.
This is after Sonko moved to court to protest transfer of over 6,000 workers to NMS. The judge ruled that the transfer was illegal as the governor had not been consulted.
The court gave the state 90 days to rectify the said illegality failure to which either of the parties can move to court to seek appropriate actions.