I’ll thank you for rejecting Igathe, Sakaja tells Mt Kenya voters in Nairobi

Johnson Sakaja and Polycarp Igathe

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja (left) and Polycarp Igathe.


Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja on Wednesday said Mt Kenya voters contributed to his election even as he lamented that lawyers could ruin his administration.

"My major competitor (Polycarp Igathe, Jubilee-Azimio) was from your region ... your own son. But you denied him your votes, blinded yourself to the tribal consideration and chose me," he said.

"I will properly say thank you in word and deed. You will see me say thank you in a manner commensurate [with the support]," he told Inooro TV.

Harass our business community

Mr Sakaja, elected under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), won with 699,392 votes against Mr Igathe's 573,518.

He added: "Soon, you will have just one licence for trading in Nairobi and inspection will be decent and consultative.”

He said he will de-link the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) from business licensing and the agency "will not be allowed to harass our business community by demanding compliance at the point of renewing licences”.

He said: "KRA should pursue their programmes independently without inconveniencing us and our public and it is a bygone conclusion that I don't need KRA in my governance system.”

He noted that besides his deputy Njoroge Muchiri, who is originally from Nyandarua County, 40 percent of his Cabinet is composed of people from Mt Kenya.

"I will continue paying back. We will walk together. Even as we serve all the others in the capital; we have 43 communities," he said.

He said he was committed to the bottom-up model "where I will bring you human dignity in your dwellings, business places and in service delivery points”.

Draconian enforcement

He said he will ban draconian enforcement that destroys businesses instead of targeting the mistakes made.

"You just don't go out there to arrest drivers and touts for picking and dropping customers in non-designated areas yet we have not put up such designations,” he said.

“You don't impound motorcycles, you don't demolish structures without offering alternatives, as long as none is taking advantage of our governance goodwill."

He said lawyers are demanding from the county Sh21 billion in legal fees and urged the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to rethink its billing formula.

"You look at some cases and the bill is Sh2 billion ... We cannot proceed on that note. We are not opposed to the payment of bills. I am a business-friendly leader who is known to demand prompt payments for suppliers. But that should not be subject to illogical billings," he said.

Mr Sakaja said he inherited another Sh16 billion in pending bills for contractors "and we are auditing them to ascertain what is genuine to be paid and the corrupted to be ignored”.

He added that he was phasing out casuals who are of retirement age and replacing them with younger people.

"We will blend the advanced age with the youth. We will ensure that we build a workforce that is young and can sustain service delivery into the future," he said.

He said that life in Nairobi’s slums can be dignified.

"We can build decent houses for all of our slum dwellers. The government is committed to doing that. Just give us time. We are coming to meet your needs and offer reprieves," he said.

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