Senate Speaker Postpones Probe on Uhuru's Takeover of Nairobi

  • 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 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020
    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 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020
    PSCU
  • Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka on Thursday, February 27 postponed debate to probe Nairobi County's takeover by the national government.

    Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen had tabled a motion challenging the legality the deal. He sought an adjournment motion to discuss the matter.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke Senator Isaac Mwaura informed that Lusaka will deliberate on the ruling of the motion on Tuesday, March 3.

    Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko after he was released from jail on on Wednesday, December 11, 2020.
    Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko after he was released from jail on Wednesday, December 11, 2019.
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    "What the speaker suspended was a directive for the matter to be deliberated by a committee," Mwaura informed, noting that the motion had to be convincing and was a matter of national interest.

    Senate Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure had directed that the motion be deliberated by two committees of the house over a period of four hours.

    Senate Minority leader James Orengo challenged Kindiki's directive arguing that it was unprocedural and had subverted the Standing Orders.

    Murkomen, before the Senate on Wednesday, February 26, had argued that the decision to surrender key county functions to the national government was an affront to the people of Kenya and the residents of Nairobi, some of whom were questioning its constitutionality, legality and the resultant effect on service delivery.

    Murkomen had stated that State House’s reference to Article 187 as the guiding law for the transfer of the functions was a futile attempt to cleanse a flawed process.

    “The Gazette Notice communicating the purported transfer of the functions of the Nairobi City County Government to the national government raises weighty and grave questions of a constitutional and legal nature, particularly in the context of the devolved system of governance that is a key cornerstone of our constitution.

    “Article 187 of the Constitution contemplates a situation where a function or power at one level may be transferred to a government at the other level by agreement between the governments. This Article (187) and Part III of the Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012 provide detail, on amongst others, the conditions to be met before such a transfer, the criteria for such transfer and the procedure that is to be followed in the processing of a transfer,” argued the senator.

    Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa shake hands after the signing of the agreement in which functions of the Nairobi County Government were handed to the National Government on Tuesday, February 25 at State House.
    Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa shake hands after the signing of the agreement in which functions of the Nairobi County Government were handed to the National Government on Tuesday, February 25 at State House.
    PSCU

    He further noted that the agreement was availed to the public after the transfer had occurred which, he argued, was against the constitution. 

    "The deed was executed yesterday, February 25, 2020. The views of the public are now sought on a deed that has already been executed. In effect, the people of Kenya have been denied the opportunity to decide, at the outset, whether or not the functions of the county government should be transferred to the national government.

    "To say that the agreement contravenes the provisions of the constitution and the law with respect to public participation is an understatement," he continued.