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OPINION: Sonko taking Nairobians for a ride

Governor Mike Sonko’s administration is in a mess with no Speaker at the assembly and only three CECs with experience. He is also without a deputy after managing to mock people with another false appointment date.

After the resignation of Polycarp Igathe, Nairobians have been treated to mind games by the vibrant governor who is also working without a county speaker and has just announced a new Cabinet with a large percentage of his previous team having opted out of working in his administration.

This is both risky and portrays a blurred image of the importance of deputy governors.

The reluctance of naming a deputy gives an image of the post being just a glorified personal assistant according to political analysts and Kenyans are starting to debate if the salary of deputy governors is justified considering Sonko is doing the job alone and saving taxpayers money.

It’s one year since Polycarp Igathe resigned due to lack of trust and personal differences with how things were running in the county.

Polycarp would later rise to a senior position in Equity Bank showing that his work ethic and credentials were relevant to county management.

This shows how much a deputy and his governor should gel together and compliment each other.

Since then, Sonko was pressured by residents to name a deputy and he fronted the first batch of names including his close ally Simon Mbugua who works very close to the governors.

After a few weeks, he specified that the deputy will be a woman and got a lot of praise from the move which would ensure gender balance in the county.

After a few names were floated and expectations went high, he named Miguna Miguna as his deputy nominee, mocking his voters and party leadership, this is at a time when Miguna had been deported by the government after he swore to expose the Executive through various media platforms.

As expected Miguna would ridicule the nomination and considering he didn’t even have a passport, the stunt was just to distract people to give him time which he later admitted, when he said the Executive was pressuring him so he had to look for a loop to buy him time.

He also said there a lot of powerful groups or individual “cartels ” who wanted to influence the appointment.

He, however, maintained he wanted a person who complimented his political attributes and was looking for a professional not necessarily a politician but a neutral servant to the people of Nairobi, claiming cartels wanted to install an insider to further their agenda in City Hall hence his decision to take his time and choose a worthy deputy as he promised during his campaigns.

Voters have also put in weight on the importance of the deputy not having a political history.

He then nominated many more women with a gender preference of Kikuyu having received a lot of support from the community in Nairobi.

This was a good move for him since it was a time when he was going head to head with Mt Kenya cartels which were intimidating him at City Hall.

He was also in a personal battle with Governor Mwangi Wa Iria over water from a dam in Murang’a and with Internal Security PS Karanja Kibicho who had withdrawn some of his security.

This promise of a deputy from the voter rich region created a truce and Sonko admitted he will fight all traditional cartels including the famed Mt Kenya Cartels and he promised he had no issue with his voters.

A lot of this heat came after he expelled boda boda riders from the CBD and hawkers with a large percentage coming from the Mt Kenya region.

Sonko again promised to fast track his search for a deputy and once again it didn’t happen on multiple assumed dates after reducing the number to four shortlisted then two with Karen Nyamu and Jane Weru as the final picks.

Addressing a press conference in Mombasa after a media spat with his former Education CEC Janet Ouko about some misappropriation of bursary funds, Sonko who was now without a speaker and only three CECs in the county announced he would name a deputy and new CECs with Jane Weru being a firm favourite due to her expertise and professionalism.

Sonko would then do the normal and take everyone for a ride by not naming a deputy.

This time the excuse being in the spirit of the handshake, NASA asked him to consider a Wiper candidate who had sought the Nairobi Women Rep position – Rahab Wangui.

Our sources from inside NASA have however indicated no official communication on the matter and no prior interest in the county administration considering they have MCAs forwarding their political agenda.

Sonko said he will name a DG after consultations, but the truth is that Nairobi is tired of his media stunts and prefers that he sorts the issues affecting the city like lack of water, medicine in hospitals, rising insecurity and high cost of operations.

Betty Oluoch is a political analyst and governance expert

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