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Counties

Confusion rocks City Hall as two claim finance docket

Nairobi County Assembly
Nairobi County Assembly in session. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Confusion continues at City Hall over who is the substantive Finance Executive, with two officials claiming leadership of the department.

Last month, Governor Mike Sonko sacked Pauline Kahiga as finance and economic planning CEC and replaced her with trade executive Allan Igambi.

But since then, neither has been able to occupy the finance office as legality battles continue over who should be the bona fide holder of the office with Government Printer boss Mwenda Njoka rejecting the changes.

Mr Njoka said the gazettment of Mr Igambi by Mr Sonko to replace Ms Kahiga as the new finance CEC, was not done in accordance with the law.

However, Friday last week, Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto ruled that Governor Sonko was right to reshuffle his cabinet. However, the Nairobi County Assembly maintains that Ms Kahiga is still the substantive holder of the finance docket.

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On Tuesday, Speaker Beatrice Elachi pronounced herself on the matter saying that Ms Kahiga remains the holder of the finance office until such a time the governor will table documents showing there is a new person in charge of the docket.

Ms Elachi warned that the assembly will only write to National Treasury, Central Bank and the Controller of Budget informing them of such changes after being satisfied Mr Sonko has followed the right procedure in replacing Ms Kahiga by tabling relevant documents before the House.

“We are not going to allow you to interdict as you have not told us ...what is going on. Until this House resolves otherwise, the CEC finance of Nairobi County remains Pauline Kahiga,” said Ms Elachi.

“Until you unveil the new CEC by following the laid down procedure, gazette and then table all the documents before the Assembly and assure us things will continue working properly, Ms Kahiga is still in office.”

The stance by the Nairobi Assembly seems to go against an advisory by Mr Ogeto, who counselled Mr Njoka that the governor was right to reshuffle his cabinet, including appointing a substantive CEC .

He said the court barring Mr Sonko from office does not prevent him from performing his duties as the governor of Nairobi. Though his acces to his office is limited, he still remains the governor.

“In the circumstances, it is our considered opinion that as the law currently stands, there is no legal basis for the Government Printer’s decision not to affect the above mentioned gazettements as requested by the County Government,”

This comes after Mr Njoka declined to recognize the gazettment of Mr Igambi by Mr Sonko to replace Ms Kahiga, going ahead to write to the Attorney- General Paul Kihara seeking for an advisory opinion on the matter.

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