Kenya Kwanza MCAs give Governor Sakaja one month to review appointments

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja on December 7, 2022.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja on December 7, 2022.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has one month to realign his appointments ahead of the resumption of assembly sittings in February next year, Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) allied to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) have said.  

The MCAs accused Mr Sakaja of failing to consult the UDA party leadership structures while making appointments. According to the ward representatives, the lack of consultation has made Mr Sakaja to create a Cabinet made up of people affiliated to the Azimio coalition who lack an understanding of the UDA manifesto in Nairobi.

Minority Leader Anthony Kiragu said they will give their next course of action in one month.

“He was elected on a UDA ticket but he has never consulted anyone from the party before making appointments. We are giving him one month to come out and declare that he belongs in the Azimio coalition so that we can know the next course of action,” Mr Kiragu told Nation.Africa.

He has also urged Mr Sakaja to focus on solving problems for Nairobi residents instead of engaging in blame games that are derailing the delivery of services to residents.

“Nairobi City cannot be [run] with public relations gimmicks. He has taken long to even create his government and there is no tangible development project he has done. He has a budget; why is he not focusing on solving people’s problems? Will he continue to blame former President Uhuru Kenyatta?” Mr Kiragu asked.

According to Minority Chief Whip Mark Ronaldo Mugambi, Mr Sakaja needs to realign his appointments within the one month to reflect the goodwill of the party.

“We have given him just one month so that he can realign his appointments. Let him reach out to the party leadership and apologise over what he has done and rectify. The party mobilised voters in Nairobi who believed in him because he used the UDA flag,” Mr Mugambi said.

However, Majority Leader Peter Imwatok, allied to Azimio, dismissed the ultimatum, arguing that there are outside forces who are trying to destabilise activities in the county.

“Mr Sakaja’s appointments were based on regional balancing. Let them not trivialise the actions of the governor. The Kenya Kwanza MCAs are good people but there’s someone who is trying to influence them. I want to assure Nairobi residents that the assembly is stable. Most of the MCAs are new; they should focus on understanding the proceedings of the assembly instead of being used,” Mr Imwatok said.

“After every election cycle, the nation becomes one. There is no one who belongs to Azimio or Kenya Kwanza. Mr Sakaja is serving Nairobi residents and not UDA. It is his wisdom to decide how he will make appointments to ensure balancing,” he added.

Nairobi MCAs last week disrupted and walked out of the vetting session for Lighting and Energy Chief Officer nominee Lucky Ogutu Okudo for failing to submit her academic documents on time. They also claimed that Ms Okudo was behind the chaos at Bomas of Kenya, the national tallying centre, and is not fit to serve as a Chief Officer. 

The Vice Chairman of the ICT and Energy Committee, Robert Alai, took over the vetting session. He later blamed the Kenya Kwanza MCAs of having ill intentions during the vetting process.

“Why did they just walk out during the vetting session? They would have just come, sat down, and raised their concerns so that they are recorded in the Hansard. All those allegations they are making against the nominee are frivolous,” Mr Alai said.

The Kenya Kwanza MCAs also snubbed a special session last week during which the assembly approved the names of 28 Chief Officers nominated by Mr Sakaja.