Igathe finally quits city county deputy governor’s job

Former Nairobi County Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe who has now officially quit his position as the city county's number two. FILKE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • This comes after the lapse of the resignation notice that Mr Igathe gave on January 11.
  • There had been hopes that the former Vivo Energy managing director would rescind his decision to relinquish his position.
  • There were behind-the-scenes attempts to reunite the former deputy with his boss Sonko.

The long wait and expectations of a reconciliation between Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and his deputy Polycarp Igathe is now officially over after the expiry of a notice given by the latter.

This comes after the lapse of the resignation notice that Mr Igathe gave on January 11.

While tendering his resignation last month in a letter to his boss and County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi, Mr Igathe said that he would continue to serve Nairobi residents until 1pm Wednesday, January 31.

SONKO'S TRUST

“Dear Nairobians, it is with a heavy heart that I resign my seat as elected Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County effective 1 pm on Jan 31, 2018. I regret I have failed to earn the trust of the governor to enable me to drive administration and management of the county,” read a post on his Twitter account on Friday, January 12.

There had been hopes that the former Vivo Energy managing director would rescind his decision to relinquish his position as the number two in Nairobi County just after a little over four months into office but that did not happen.

Instead, Mr Igathe dashed all the feint hopes left by declaring on his Twitter account on Wednesday that he was moving on from his previous position of a deputy governor but would continue to serve Nairobi people as an advisor.

ADVISOR

“It has been a great pleasure serving Nairobians and I will continue to serve as an advisor, beyond my previous position of Nairobi County Deputy Governor,” read the tweet posted exactly eight minutes after the expiry of the notice period he was to serve.

He went on to add that he was not ready to compromise on his principles, advising that individuals should aim to surpass the ideology that fears free thought more than electric shock.

“Strength, progress and peaceful change comes from independent judgment and individual ideas. Compromise should be on issues, not on principles; on political positions, not ourselves. As Kenyans, we should aim to surpass the ideology that fears free thought more than electric shock,” read the tweet on Wednesday.

A spot check by Nation on Thursday at his former office at City Hall revealed a forlorn office which was operational but missing the exuberance and broad smile of the former deputy governor, with only his secretaries holding the fort and receiving mail and other communication coming through the office.

“That man has never been here since he resigned last month. His secretary is the only person who has been in the office receiving any correspondence coming to the office,” said an employee at City Hall who did not want to be named.

RECONCILIATION ATTEMPTS

There had been behind-the-scenes attempts to reunite the former deputy with his boss Sonko, led by a section of Jubilee politicians from within and without Nairobi County but the efforts failed even before they took off as both adopted hard-line stances regarding any reconciliation attempts.

But rather than put the matter finally to rest, the statement “I will continue to serve as an advisor” in his tweet, has thrown the spanner in the works and heightened debate that the former deputy governor might be back at City Hall in another capacity.

Our attempts to reach the former Vivo Energy MD were futile as his phone was off but a close aide told Nation that he was also confused by the tweet as it was not immediately clear what Mr Igathe meant.

“Everybody is confused by the tweet as it does not make sense to leave a deputy governor’s position and then come back as an advisor. I really don’t know what he meant,” said the aide.

Nonetheless, Nairobi County now joins Nyeri to be the second county without a substantive deputy governor with hope now resting squarely on the County Governments Act (Amendment) Bill which is before Parliament and which seeks to give power to governors to appoint deputies should a vacancy arise.

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