EDITORIAL: Resolve City Hall crisis

Beatrice Elachi
Impeached Speaker Beatrice Elachi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The standoff between Nairobi Members of County Assembly (MCAs) and impeached Speaker Beatrice Elachi paints a chaotic picture of Kenya’s capital.

Ms Elachi is accused of flouting procurement rules to influence award of purchase of the speaker’s residence to a bidder who had quoted Sh125 million, much higher than City Hall’s limit of Sh100 million, among other accusations that have seen her lose her seat.

Meanwhile, Governor Mike Sonko has relocated from City Hall and is now operating official county business from his rural home in Mua, Machakos County. Despite calls by MCAs for his return, the county boss remains defiant saying he will not yield to pressure even after spending four months away from his office.

All this, coupled with Sonko’s reluctance to name a deputy governor eight months after Polycarp Igathe’s shock resignation, points to a clear crisis of leadership at City Hall.

Nairobi is Kenya’s financial and political capital and as such, the smooth running of county business is essential to its prosperity and appeal as an investment destination. The current state of its top leadership and their behaviour is not only embarrassing, it paints a worrying picture for residents who now worry what long-term effects the power gap will have on day-to-day services.