Sonko hopes to keep promises as his plans lag

Thursday November 30 2017

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko during

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko during swearing in of Nairobi County executive committee members at Charter hall on November 10, 2017. Mr Sonko made a raft of pledges, which were to be fulfilled within the first 100 days in office. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By COLLINS OMULO
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On his 2017 General Election campaign trail, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko made a raft of pledges, which were to be fulfilled within the first 100 days in office.

Top on the list was digitisation of county operations, revocation of all illegal and irregular contracts signed by the regime of his predecessor, Dr Evans Kidero, and initiating an accountability code for his senior staff.

Mr Sonko’s administration has made progress on a number of fronts, but, three months later, he is yet to fulfil most of the pledges. He, however, is optimistic they will be implemented.
WATER
“I have never made a promise that I cannot keep,” said Mr Sonko when he was sworn into office on August 21. “I want to give you an assurance that Nairobi will never be the same again.

“I shall work round the clock to deliver. There shall be enough water in the city...no garbage, as we have already demonstrated in the ongoing ‘Operation Ng’arisha Jiji’.”

The governor now blames the prolonged electioneering for the delay, as well as non-performing employees.

“I have only worked for 40 days since we were campaigning for the President (Uhuru Kenyatta) and the political temperatures were high for the other 60 days,” said Mr Sonko.

“Let the people know that my scorecard is based on those few days.

“I was lenient with the workers, thinking that they will do their job, but instead they have been sabotaging my efforts.”

PARKING FEES

Mr Sonko had pledged to hold a “The Nairobi We Want” convention within three weeks of assuming office, improve working conditions for staff, audit county properties and compile a fixed asset register, develop an affordable housing plan and review the county planning framework, among others.

The governor also promised to halve parking fees on city streets, scrap trade licences for small-scale traders and reduce them for medium-and large-scale traders, and put up modern kiosks for the jobless and the poor.

For the health sector, he outlined plans to put up more health facilities and ease residents’ access to healthcare by partnering with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

He also promised to streamline garbage collection, regulate hawking and end water scarcity, as well as fix the sewerage and rein in land grabbers.

To enhance social inclusion, he pledged to involve the people in decision making by setting up an advisory committee that includes them and recruit local youths as county askaris.

REVENUE

But all that is yet to materialise.

Recently, the governor said he had automated 58 of the 136 county revenue streams through Web Tribe Limited, a company his government contracted to automate 100 of them.

In October, he scrapped trade licence fees for ‘mama mboga’ and waived the Sh30 daily fee for small-scale traders. He said hawkers will be moved to the backstreets and allowed to trade only from 2pm as a stop-gap measure.
Last month, Mwariro Market in Kariokor was identified as a permanent place to move the hawkers.

Plans to acquire the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) building on Haile Selassie Avenue and transform it into a hawkers’ market are also under way.

The City Hall boss said he will employ technology to control traffic and give incentives to public transport saccos and companies to introduce high-capacity buses to serve the county.

Additional reporting by Lillian Mutavi


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