Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has defended his leadership saying operating without a deputy governor will not hinder the provision and delivery of services to Nairobi residents.
Appearing before the Senate committee on Devolution over the vacant Deputy Governor’s position, Sonko said there is no legislation to compel him to nominate a deputy governor.
The governor was however put to task by senators to treat the matter with seriousness it deserves after Sonko told them that the summons to appear before them was not necessary.
Sonko accused Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja of bringing non-issues before the Senate.
“There was no need for the senator to call senators from recess over this non-issue,” Sonko said.
He was informed by Laikipia county Senator John Nderitu that the matter was a very serious issue bearing in mind the drafters of the constitution were very clear that the purpose of a deputy governor is to deputise a governor.
The Nairobi Deputy Governor position fell vacant after Polycarp Igathe resigned in January 2018 citing a strained work relationship with Governor Sonko.
The Senate had summoned the Governor to know some of the steps he has taken to replace Igathe. He has since moved on and is now the managing director of Equity Bank Kenya.
“I have made several attempts in finding Igathe’s replacement and I think you need to appreciate this. My attempts have been frustrated through either rejection of my preferred candidates or interventions by different party leaders,” Sonko said.“I am still consulting because I don’t want to appoint a deputy who will disappoint me as Igathe did. The law does not indicate the time frame for consultation, so the process is still on,” he said.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja had raised the issue on the floor of the House last month on why Nairobi County has been operating without a deputy governor for 15 months now.