NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – Evans Kidero has handed over the mantle of leadership in Nairobi County to Governor Mike Sonko who trounced him in the recently concluded General Election, discarding plans for a lawsuit challenging the poll results.
While giving his remarks at the historic Uhuru Park grounds where Sonko and his deputy Polycarp Igathe were sworn-in Monday, Kidero assured the new county boss of his undiluted support as he assumes the leadership of Nairobi.
“Today Nairobi had witnessed the hallmark of democracy. Transfer of power from one freely elected governor to the next one – Mike Mbuvi Sonko,” Kidero said in a spirited speech after Deputy Governor Igathe invited him to the podium.
“I committed to Nairobians that my administration will ensure the smoothest possible transition and this is what we’ve been here to do,” he added.
During the ceremony which was graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto among other senior government officials, Kidero urged Sonko to continue with projects he began, particularity on the construction of new houses for city residents.
“There was no room for tribalism in my government and there cannot be in Nairobi. We also embarked on ambitious plans and Governor Sonko one particular one I want to plead with you is the urban regeneration; the rebuilding of Ngara, Pangani and Fort Jesus which we’d already started,” he implored.
Kidero stirred up an excited crowd during Sonko’s coronation when he said he had no problem referring to the new county boss as Governor, adding that he was cognizant of the fact that leaders are ordained by God.
Thanking Nairobi residents for giving him an opportunity to serve in the past four-and-a-half years, the first city governor noted challenges his government faced when he assumed office, saying operations at City Hall were almost at a standstill.
“If there’s one thing that nobody doubts Governor Sonko, is the fact that we both love this city. I and you like jealous lovers, fought, pushed and often even called each other names in trying to prove our worth to the people of Nairobi,” he humorously pointed out.
Kidero asked Sonko to continue with the better inter-ethnic relations that he said thrived during his tenure.
He exuded confidence in his record as the pioneer of the city under devolution, the challenges he faced notwithstanding.
He noted that the funding of the City from the exchequer remained crucial in ensuring that City Hall delivers its mandate.
The former Mumias Sugar Company chief executive who successfully trounced political bigwigs in 2013 to secure the governorship urged the governor to forge ahead with commitment in order to conquer the challenges that face the county.
He also pledged to make himself available to the new administration for counsel.
In 2013, Kidero trounced the now Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu after getting 692,483 votes against Waititu’s 617,839.