NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has emphasised the need for governors to be allowed to undertake their duties freely without interference from the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Devolution and Planning.
Speaking during a courtesy call on Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Musyoka argued that the involvement of the Cabinet Secretary in the running of counties will hinder the work of governors across the country.
“The governors should not be held under lock and key by the Secretary in charge of Devolution. I expect that they are going to do their work without letup or hindrance to change the counties,” the former VP stated.
“I think everybody must be allowed to find their level so that the reality of devolution begins to sink in,” he said.
He further pointed out that the constitution clearly demarcates the roles of the national and county governments.
“We do not expect that someone like Governor Kidero is going to sit in judgment against anybody else and similarly, nobody at the level of Cabinet Secretary should say you are subservient to me,” he said.
“These are some of the issues that are important and therefore, the governors must be allowed to be in control. That is why the reality of our new constitution is there. Let us not contradict the letter and spirit of the 2010 constitution,” he added.
Musyoka further lauded the radical changes by Kidero to purge corruption from County Hall especially at the City Inspectorate Department.
“City Hall for instance has hitherto been the headquarters of corruption in the City. I am happy however that the Nairobi Governor has already taken the bull by the horns. Only yesterday, he held a meeting with the City Inspectorate Department and drew the line with regard to corrupt practices,” he said.
Last week, Kidero suspended five officials from the City Inspectorate Department for disorderly conduct and ordered a full audit of the unit.
The officials were caught on camera allegedly extorting, battering and hurling insults at the public while under the influence of alcohol.
The governor stressed that such action will not be condoned from any employee as it goes against his pledge to ensure consistent order to change the negative perception of residents towards the county office.
Musyoka underscored the need for Kidero to begin on an exercise to clean up the city and especially reduce the amount of garbage.
“The citizens in Nairobi should begin to see a clean city. You used to see a lot of garbage and even nicknamed Nairobi as a City in the garbage. Others used to proudly wear T-Shirts saying that ‘I am a conqueror. I have conquered the potholes in Nairobi. These are some of the things that Kidero needs to look at,” he stated.
He indicated that doing this will attract foreign investments and further raise the country’s GDP.
“If he continues this way, even the international investors will target the city of Nairobi in a very significant way,” he said.
He cited the reclamation of the Nairobi Dam which at the moment is covered with Hyacinth as a major area of concern which should also be looked into.
“I am very concerned about reclaiming Nairobi Dam for instance. There is a wonderful yacht club there and because of the amount of solid waste that we generate as Nairobi residents, we have lost the Dam. If you drive along Mbagathi Road, the stench that comes from the dam shows you that we have a lot of work to do,” the VP stated.
“The Nairobi River itself is in a sorry state. What happens downstream after the rains is appalling. I wish I could get the media on a helicopter so that you can see what has happened at the Athi River point,” he said.
On the other hand, Kidero welcomed the help of all stakeholders in developing Nairobi.
“We discussed the issues affecting Nairobi and as you know, Nairobi is 60 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and if it works, the whole country works and the momentum that the country has must continue,” he stated.