On Wednesday this week, President Uhuru Kenyatta oversaw the official take over of some functions of Nairobi county.
In a brief event presided over by Attorney General Paul Kihara, Governor Mike Sonko sat staring blankly into the middle distance after he had signed off some functions of his county to the national government.
The takeover saw the head of state create a new unit – the Nairobi Metropolitan Services – tasked with the responsibility of transforming the city.
As a result, Uhuru appointed Major General Mohamed Abdalla Badi and gave him the tough job of dealing with corruption and dismantle cartels that have held the city at ransom for years.
Among his first promises to the public was to make sure the entire city is sparkling clean within 100 days.
Following up on this, on Friday, the newly created NMS started its work by sending in a fleet of NYS machinery for a major cleanup of Shauri Moyo and Majengo in Kamukunji where huge piles of garbage posed a serious health risk to residents.
This move, has, however not been viewed very positively by former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo, who through his Twitter account on Sunday evening, advised General Badi that there were much more important issues which needed urgent solving – like the provision of enough clean water to Nairobi residents during the current Coronavirus outbreak.
The most urgent duty sir is to give Nairobians sufficient water to observe good hygiene. Maji ni uhai
— Hon. William Kabogo (@honkabogo) March 22, 2020
In the replies, a majority of Kenyans seemed to agree with the wealthy and flamboyant city politician, urging the NMS to quickly heed his advice.
— Edwin Collins (@EdwinCo2020) March 22, 2020
Maji ikiwa sisi ni wasafi
— AlbashEA®🇰🇪 (@albertoyugi_) March 22, 2020
Definitely. Water should be the major priority in this times.
— Juja’s Highest🇰🇪✴ (@deno_n) March 22, 2020
He won’t be able to accomplish much, Nairobi needs a kichwa ngumu politician ..governor you can actually do very well in Nairobi 😁
— Gitonga (@B_Ajurik) March 22, 2020
Badi’s appointment on Wednesday was met by criticism from a section of the local political commentators on social media.
Badi’s team will now oversee the running of the four delegated functions — health, transport, planning and development, and public works and utilities — which together have a budget of over Ksh. 20 billion.
In effect, this has rendered Mr. Sonko just a ceremonial governor, with less influential responsibilities such as the licensing of dogs, controlling porn and other non-essential services.