Doubts Linger Over Nairobi Dissolution as Police Lockdown City Hall

  • A collage of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, President Uhuru Kenyatta and NMS Director General Mohammed Badi
    A collage of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, President Uhuru Kenyatta and NMS Director General Mohammed Badi
    File
  • The nation woke up to news that Beatrice Elachi had resigned as the Speaker of the County Assembly of Nairobi effective August 11, 2020.

    The move has sparked debates online over the fate of the city and its county government. 

    Photos and footage taken from City Hall showed heavy police presence who had locked down the building which also houses Governor Mike Sonko’s office. Only essential services staff were allowed in with MCAs being blocked from accessing the assembly.

    Heavy police presence around City Hall Annex on Tuesday, August 11, 2020
    Heavy police presence around City Hall Annex on Tuesday, August 11, 2020
    File

    Many Kenyans online have interpreted the latest developments to mean that the county government could be dissolved, rendering Sonko jobless.

    Lawyer Steve Ogolla also held the opinion that the governor’s days were numbered. 

    Elachi enjoys firm support of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. Her resignation can be explained in the broader context of the removal of Governor Sonko. 

    “You don't have a deputy governor, you don't have a speaker, and you don't have functions, but then you have corruption cases,” he argued.

    Though the former speaker appointed her deputy Ruai MCA John Kamangu to serve as per the law, he has been summoned for a disciplinary hearing by Jubilee Party scheduled for Thursday, August 13, 2020, further complicating the situation.

    Should he be expelled from the party, the assembly leadership will have been thrown into unprecedented territory.

    There are also doubts that Elachi may have not resigned procedurally, because she addressed her resignation to the president and not the County Assembly as the County Govt Act stipulates.

    In her resignation Elachi warned Sonko that he was just a custodian of the office of the governor.

    She also threw her support behind Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Mohammed Badi. 

    "Governor Sonko, you cannot go on threatening people's lives and their families. You also have a family. You cannot have everything, just nurture what God has given you," she cautioned.

    Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi (left) has a word with Governor Mike Sonko (right) during the swearing-in of CECMs at Charter Hall on November 10, 2017.
    Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi (left) has a word with Governor Mike Sonko (right) during the swearing-in of CECMs at Charter Hall on November 10, 2017.
    Daily Nation