KENYA: A Court has ruled that the deed of transfer of functions from Nairobi City County Government to the National Government, that was agreed upon by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko is illegal.
Employment and Labor Relations Court Judge, Hellen Wasilwa ruled that the deed of transfer is illegal because it was not approved by the County Assembly. She also ruled that the transfer of 6,000 Nairobi City County staff and the secondment of CEOs to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is irregular since Governor Mike Sonko was not consulted.
Justice Wasilwa also found that the transfer document signed by the Nairobi Governor – who later claimed not to have read it before signing – did not provide for the NMS as a partner to the county, was vague on how the takeover would happen, and who was to do what in the arrangement.
The judge gave the National Government 90 days to rectify the illegality failure to which, activist Okiya Omtatah who filed the case and had the support of Governor Sonko, or any other party in the case will be free to move to the court for further appropriate action.
Governor Sonko, in a filed affidavit, opined that the transfer of functions deed should have been subjected to the approval of both the National Assembly and the Nairobi City County Assembly. The Governor also said that county employees were transferred and seconded to NMS without his approval.
The deed of transfer was signed by Governor Sonko, representing the Nairobi Government and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa on behalf of the National Government. It was signed in State House Nairobi in a ceremony witnessed by President Uhuru and Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.
After signing the deed, the President said that the transferred functions which include health, transport, public works, utilities, and planning and development, will be managed by the NMS which will be led by a Director-General. President Kenyatta picked Maj-Gen Mohamed Badi as the Director-General of the NMS.