Shape up or ship out, city ward reps caution Sakaja

Johnson Sakaja

Nairobi City County Governor Johnson Sakaja. County assembly members have accused Sakaja of “engaging in sideshows and resorting to publicity stunts to manage the county” instead of delivering on his campaign pledges.

Photo credit: Pool

There appears to be no end in sight to the political woes facing under-fire Governor Johnson Sakaja, with ward representatives in his own Kenya Kwanza Alliance the latest to turn the screw on the embattled Nairobi City County boss.

Urging him to address the myriad problems facing city residents, the county assembly members accused Governor Sakaja of “engaging in sideshows and resorting to publicity stunts to manage the county” instead of delivering on his campaign pledges.

Speaking yesterday, Waithaka MCA Anthony Kiragu said Nairobians are tired of listening to the county chief talking about the problems facing them.

“The governor has, since [being sworn into office], been telling people about their problems instead of listing the solutions he has [put forward] in the last 100 days,” said the Assembly Minority Leader. Mr Kiragu, who led Kenya Kwanza MCAs in rejecting the governor’s choice of chief officers, was reacting to Mr Sakaja’s interview on Citizen TV on Monday night. Insisting that Mr Sakaja has nothing to show for the days he has been at the helm of City Hall, the legislator accused the governor of failing to pay casual workers who, he noted, recently held demonstrations to agitate for their wages.

‘Stand aside’

Mr Kiragu further accused the governor of being adamant about “destroying the businesses of the same people who voted for him” on August 9.

“We won’t stand aside and watch in silence,” he added.

This comes just days after the Kenya Kwanza MCAs accused the City Hall boss of sidelining them while making key decisions and opting “to work more with the Azimio [la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party] side”.

“We want the governor to decide whether he will work with the Azimio side or UDA [United Democratic Alliance] that sponsored him,” said Mr Kiragu. UDA is headed by President William Ruto, while his main rival in the August 9 presidential elections, Mr Raila Odinga, leads Azimio.

Rejecting Mr Sakaja’s list of chief officer nominees, Kenya Kwanza ward representatives vowed to boycott the vetting of the senior county officials.

They accused the governor of favouring Azimio nominees in the appointments, with the Minority Whip Mark Mugambi saying Dr Ruto’s party will not take part in what he termed as an illegality.

UDA members in the county assembly’s Information and Communication Technology Committee recently walked out of a session during the approval hearing of Mr Lucky Okudo, whom they accused of lacking integrity.

Bothering businesspeople

“Kenya Kwanza will not be a party to any illegality. We shall not take part. We want to tell the people of Nairobi that [Mr Sakaja] is working with people who did not elect him,” said Mr Mugambi. 

The latest storm follows a similar outburst by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who recently admonished Mr Sakaja, telling him to stop bothering businesspeople from Mt Kenya who ply their trade in the capital.

“Mt Kenya made you governor and we are vigilant on our interests. We must get involved in the decisions that affect our people,” Mr Gachagua told the governor at an event in Nyeri County on December 9.