Nairobi Governor Hands Over County Management to National Government
The governor of Nairobi County has officially handed over the management of the city to the National government.
In a statement, governor Mike Sonko, has said that his decision has been informed by the need to give Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, the opportunity to have greater partnerships with other stakeholders, such as the State, so that it can be on par with other major global cities.
“ Nairobi being our nation’s seat of power and the country’s commercial capital, makes its needs to be unique and calls for greater partnerships with stakeholders, such as the National government,” he says.
Governor Sonko says that as the head of the metropolis of Nairobi, his government went on a fact-finding mission to discover how the County can be able to deliver efficient and effective services to Nairobians at a rate that would it put on par with other cities, such as Abuja in Nigeria and Washington, D.C. in the United States of America (U.S.A.), in accordance with Article 187 of the Constitution.
The transfer of functions was two days ago gazetted as Number 1609 and is in accordance with with Section 26 of the Intergovernmental Relations Act of 2012.
“ Using this knowledge as a context, I, as the Governor of Nairobi initiated consultations with the National Government to discover how the county can be able to adequately deliver services that balances both its county and national resources and competencies. This has resulted on the crafting of a comprehensive and historic agreement signed yesterday to hand over the management of some of the functions of Nairobi County to the National government to reposition the city as the economic hub of the country,” he says.
In 2017, the Nairobi International Financial Centre Act came into force, so as to give the city a legal framework that would make it efficient and have a globally competitive financial services sector.
Nairobi Leading Financial County
Nairobi is home to commercial banks, insurance companies and the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), which according to the MSCI Frontier Markets Index, was rated as the best performing stock market in the last decade, that is between 2020 and 2010, whose benchmark index went up by 74 percent within the period.
The ranking made the NSE ahead of its stock exchange competitors such as Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa, whose benchmark index rose by 9 percent and Nigerian Stock Exchange in Nigeria, whose index fell by 50 percent in the last decade.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in data that was published in February 2020, Kenya has a Gross Domestic product of 9.9. Trillion in 2019, thus making it to be the largest economy in the East African region.
Additional data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that between 2017 and 2013, Nairobi was the leading financial county in Kenya with a GDP of 21.7 percent.
The statement by Governor Sonko states that the County government will focus on the functions and service areas that have not been covered in the agreement with the National government.
The functions are four, notes a statement from the Office of the Spokesperson at Statehouse Nairobi dated February 25th 2020.
“ The National Government will be able to handle the following functions of the Nairobi County government: county health services; county transport services; county public works and ancilliary services; as well as county government planning and development,” it reads.
Governor Mike Sonko, was however, quick to reiterate that his County government is committed to ensuring that Nairobi regains its lost glory as the “ Green City In The Sun”, among other targets.
“ We believe that the bold decision of collaborating with the National Government of President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee Administration by transferring some of our functions will result in a precedence in government that will strengthen devolution. I would also like to pass my gratitude to the President of Uhuru Kenyatta who is committed towards ensuring that Nairobians get the best of services from their government,” he says.
Despite the governor’s effort to make Nairobi the “Green City in The Sun,” he has lately been part of this tarnished image.
For instance, in February, Governor Mike Sonko, had his application to the Anti-Corruption Court to stop a Kshs 357 million corruption case against him and 19 other people, which has resulted in the county losing the money, being quashed.
This is after the Court found that his reason for his application did not meet the court’s reasons.
Governor Sonko had stated that the Anti-Corruption Court should not prosecute him because the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission had illegally obtained evidence against him and thus the EACC should not investigate subject to him defending his innocence.
Regarding devolution, governor Mike Sonko is not alone in believing that devolution can have an impact in the country.
According to the Kenya News Agency (KNA), Murang’a governor, Mr Mwangi wa Iria, this month while welcoming a delegation from the West African country, stated that Kenyan county assemblies could learn from Nigeria on how to legislate laws to support county operations.
While governor Mike Sonko has termed the decision to hand over some of the county’s management to the National government, terming it as a “precedent” and is in accordance to Article 187 of the constitution, not everyone supports it, such as Senate Majority Leader, Mr Kipchumba Morkomen.
In a motion to the Senate, Mr Murkomen states that while the Transference of Functions from County to National Government has been gazetted under notice 1609, it goes against section 29 of the Intergovernmental Relations Act of 2012 because it lacks public participation.
“ Pursuant to the Act, the transference would have been carried out prior to the execution of the Agreement. It, however, appears that the Agreement was an attempt on the parties to sanitize an already flawed process. In effect, the people of Kenya have been denied the opportunity to decide at the outset, whether or not, the functions of the County Government should be transferred to the National Government in Accordance with Article 10 of the Constitution,” he says.
Mr Murkomen further states that there are the transference has been “an ambush” on Kenyans in general and Nairobians in particular, because they have been denied the opportunity to decide whether the functions of the County Government should be transferred to another level of administration, such as the National Government.
But, besides the opposition of Mr Murkomen, people on social media expressed their dissatisfaction with the National government’s acquiescence of 239 people who came aboard an airplane which is owned by China Southern Airlines yesterday at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, fearing the spread of Wuhan coronavirus, states the Daily Nation.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), coronavirus has claimed the lives of 2, 718 people in China by late February.