Sonko Faces New Challenge After Pulling Out of Deal With Uhuru

  • 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
    Former 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
    PSCU
  • Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko unilaterally pulled out of his deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, July 24, by officially writing to Attorney General Paul Kihara to withdraw the deed of transfer.

    Sonko argued that he was baited into signing the deal which saw him hand over key duties to the National Government. The deal saw Kenyatta establish the Nairobi Metropolitan Services under General Mohamed Badi, a team which has been on a warpath with Sonko ever since.

    "Whereas the Deed in its recitals expresses common intent, there was hardly any common intent at the antecedent level. There is no justification offered by the four functions at any stage prior to or subsequent," Sonko lamented in his letter to the AG. 

    As much as Sonko wants out of the deal, the governor faces a tough hurdle in regaining the four duties he surrendered. Those are Health, Transport, Public works and Planning, and Development Services. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta with Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi at the Arboretum on June 5, 2020
    President Uhuru Kenyatta with Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi at the Arboretum on June 5, 2020
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    The deed of transfer Clause 9 ties down Sonko as it states that the deal is in effect for two years (24 months) before the two parties consider renewing. This means that discussions on renewing the deed will be held in February 2022, a few months before Kenyatta retires. 

    It adds that the deed may only be terminated by the mutual written consent of both Parties expressed in a common document. So far, only Sonko has shown the desire to terminate the deal with President Kenyatta hell-bent on securing his legacy through NMS.

    Clause 11 speaks on dispute resolution mechanisms, which will also be a headache for Sonko as he will require Kenyatta's blessings to end the dispute and terminate the deal.

    The clause states that in the event of a dispute between the Parties, the two sides shall at the first instance endeavour to resolve the dispute amicably through negotiations. This process is poised to fail after Sonko launched attacks at Kenyatta's team accusing them of offering him alcohol which affected his reasoning before signing the deal. 

    It adds that if the dispute is not resolved amicably within 30 days from the date, one party notifies the other of the dispute in writing, the parties shall refer the dispute to the National and County Governments Coordinating Summit. 

    Sonko will face Kenyatta at the summit bearing in mind that the head of state chairs it. He may bank on governors to support him, however, most if not all of them are pro-BBI (Building Bridges Initiative), Kenyatta's legacy project.

    The governor, while ranting on his Facebook page on Thursday, July 23, also hinted that his impeachment case which was suspended may be revisited. 

    "By not complying with the law then they better impeach me just like Waititu (Ferdinand Waititu, former Kiambu Governor). However, I will not entertain his (Badi) intimidation anymore," Sonko lashed out after Badi repossessed the official residence for Nairobi Governors and a ceremonial vehicle. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at a past event
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at a past event
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