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President Uhuru Kenyatta seen here with Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (centre) and Maj Gen Mohamed Badi (right)/FILE

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Sonko issues new threat to reclaim transferred city functions in bitter row with NMS

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has issued fresh threats to pull out of the agreement that saw him transfer key functions to the national government for management by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

After months of tension between his office and the Major General Mohamed Badi-led administration, Sonko now says he can’t take it anymore.

Governor Mike Sonko at his private office in Upper Hill where he operates from after the court barred him from accessing office over graft charges. /CFM-FILE.

Sonko said he has endured frustration and intimidation by NMS officials which observers say has reduced his office to a shadow.

His long-time lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui announced Friday that the “Governor formally reclaims the running of Nairobi County Government after withdrawing from the Deed of Transfer that transferred four key functions to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.”

No evidence was provided to show the withdrawal.

The announcement from his lawyer followed statements attributed to the governor in local press, saying he was intoxicated when he signed the deed of transfer before cameras and in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.

Badi was subsequently named the Director-General of NMS.

But prior to transfering the functions, Sonko had already been barred by the court after facing corruption charges, which he is battling alongside some City Hall officials and suppliers.

With his own signature, Sonko surrendered health, transport, public works and planning dockets to the national government, but he claims he was not in his right mind at the time.

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At the time, both parties termed the move “as historic” and one that was meant to reclaim the fading city glory- as East Africa’s largest business hub and host to several global organisations including the United Nations based in Gigiri.

If the wrangles persist, the deed of transfer requires the two parties to present their grievances to President Kenyatta-in a lengthy process that comes barely two years to 2022 General Elections.

The Governor has accused the National Government of staging a coup- leaving him as an outsider in the management of the city affairs.

Just recently, the Governor asked Badi “stop this nonsensical behaviour of insulting me,” after he was warned against occupying the official residence of the governor, a house that was formerly occupied the city mayor.

“Why forcefully take the official Nairobi County Governor’s residence and ceremonial vehicle?” the Governor asked.

“We are not in competition, kindly let us focus on service delivery to the great people of Nairobi and if you want to fight go to Somalia and fight with Al-Shabaab and if you want to become the Governor wait for 2022 to vie,” Sonko said in his characteristic salvo.

Badi did not however mince his words that land is a transferred function and Sonko should stay away from that house

“That area belongs to NMS. And as we talk, that house has been shielded off and nobody is going to reclaim that house,” the NMS Director-General asserted.

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