Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director-General Mohammed Badi.
Since the transfer of health services, transport, planning and development, and public works and utilities to the national government, the county boss has taken steps and raised issues over the operating of the body which is under the Office of the President.
The two have on several occasions agreed to work together to deliver services to Nairobi residents.
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi at the Arboretum on June 5, 2020
Despite the attempts to cease fire, there have been times Sonko has gone after the NMS.
Rejecting Funds Allocation Bill
On October 15, Sonko declined to sign a Ksh37.5 Billion Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2020 that allocated the Nairobi Metropolitan Service Ksh27.1 billion.
He referred the bill back to the assembly for consideration as he claimed that details of the budget had been swapped at the last minute.
“I have outlined in detail illegalities and inconsistencies contained in the budget that was presented by cartels from State House, Harambee House and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services at the last minute, swapping it with the original Budget Proposals earlier submitted by the County Executive,” read the statement.
Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko rejects the Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2020 on Thursday, October 15.
Back in April 2020, the governor declined to assent to a bill allocating more than Sh15 billion to the NMS.
Sonko referred the Nairobi County Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2020 back to the county assembly, claiming amendments in it contravened provisions of the law.
Withholding Funds for NMS
In September, NMS claimed that it had been locked out of bank accounts loaded with over Ksh250 Million meant for the provision of health services in the county.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Officials from NMS led by Deputy Director-General William Kangethe and NMS director for health services Josephine Mbae stated that signatories to the bank accounts were yet to be changed.
NMS Director of Health Services Josephine Kibaru
In response, Sonko accused NMS of perpetuating impunity and undermining his leadership.
“I find it strange and ridiculous that they have been throwing around funny figures to entertain the public while creating the impression that I have “refused” to fund the NMS.
“The NMS is fully aware of the fact that there is no law in Kenya that allows a County Government to finance the operations of the Office of the President where they are domiciled,” he argued.
“To this day, nobody knows whether the NMS operates bank account(s), who the signatories are, where their funding comes from, and how they account for such monies. The question is, is the Nairobi City County Government supposed to wire money to Major Badi’s personal accounts or his M-Pesa??? And which law allows that,” Sonko ranted.
The legality of the NMS has been in question having been declared its operations. However, in a later court ruling, Justice Hellen Wasilwa revered that order noting that NMS had demonstrated the involvement of the Nairobi County Assembly in the transfer of functions to the National Government.
Following the ruling, the governor filed a notice of appeal to protest a court ruling that recognised NMS as a legally constituted entity.
The county boss vowed to continue challenging the constitutionality of NMS maintaining that it was illegally constituted despite having himself signed the deed of transfer at State House.
Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa signing an agreement in State House on Tuesday, February 25.
Withholding payroll of Workers
The county payroll was one of the key areas of contention between the two leaders.
Months after more than 6,000 county staff were seconded to NMS by the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Badi-led organisation revealed that it yet to get the document.
NMS also accused City Hall of irregular transfers of health officials in different institutions leaving gaps in service delivery.
The issue was briefly resolved when they settled issues raised by the striking doctors in Nairobi.
In October 2020, Sonko condemned the NMS after some of its officials stormed City Hall and forcefully carted away sensitive documents from the Personnel Registry of City Inspectorate.
Opposing NMS-Led Demolitions
Sonko has publicly condemned the conducting of demolitions in the county. In August 2020, Sonko voiced his disappointment with evictions in Mukuru slums that left 5,000 families homeless.
Residents stated that the demolitions were carried out by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to pave way for the expansion of roads in the informal settlements.
An excavator destroying houses at Mukuru Slums.
The governor through his spokesperson Ben Mulwa termed the demolitions as inhumane stating that the disruptions were a point of concern.
“We are seeing a situation where some powerful and corrupt individuals seem not to care at all. As a county government, we will not sit and watch again. If they continue like this we are ready to fight them till the end,” he declared.
He advocated for planning prior to resettling the affected families before demolitions are conducted.