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Government invites public views on Nairobi County takeover

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – The government has now invited members of the public to submit views on the Nairobi County Government takeover.

In a notice placed on the local dailies, the public has been urged to attend a forum on March 4 at the Kenya School of Government to present their views, a day after lawyers protested that there was no public participation in the takeover.

“Members of the public are invited to submit their views and comments on the DEED OF Transfer of functions to the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution through the email,” part of the notice read.

The government is seeking to get public views after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko surrendered key county functions to the National Government, in the wake of corruption charges facing him.

Sonko, who is out on bond, is barred by the court from setting foot in office until his case is heard and determined, even though he has been making changes to his cabinet among other executive orders.

He is also staring at an impeachment, after a motion to send him home was tabled in the County Assembly last week.

State House issued a statement late Tuesday stating that Sonko had signed off to surrender Health, Transport, Public Works and Planning.

“In a landmark agreement signed at State House today (Tuesday), Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa in concurrence with H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta, signed an agreement, handing over functions of the Nairobi County Government to the National Government, pursuant to Article 187 of the Constitution,” the statement by State House Spokeswoman Kanze Dena said. 

On Thursday, Sonko said he initiated the talks that led to the signing of the controversial deal at State House, before President Uhuru Kenyatta, in what has sparked mixed reactions with some Kenyans questioning why the public participation was not done before the signing.

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“I initiated discussions with the National Government with a view of finding a sustainable approach to service delivery that leverages both on the County and National resources and competencies,” Sonko said in a statement.

Sonko said he first sought to establish how other jurisdictions globally managed key counties or regions such as Nairobi which is the country’s seat of power.

“My Government set out on a fact-finding mission that saw us benchmark and take lessons from other jurisdictions across the world including Washington DC in the US and Abuja in Nigeria,” he said.

Describing the deal as “historic”, Sonko said the partnership will help “reposition Nairobi as the economic hub of the region”.

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