Uhuru receives NMS 100-day Achievements Report, laying ground for total Nairobi county takeover

President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off 22 NMS branded water trucks, five ambulances and water projects in informal Settlements/NMS

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, June 30, received the 100 days Nairobi Metropolitan Services Achievements Report.

In addition, the President also flagged off 22 NMS branded water trucks, five ambulances and water projects in Mathare, Kibra, and other informal settlements.

Uhuru commended NMS Director- General, Major General Mohammed Badi and his team for delivering as per his directives thus greatly accelerating the infrastructural growth of Nairobi City.

He said that the ongoing NMS projects, using the Kazi Mtaani initiatives, are empowering the youth and cushioning them from the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

Badi assured the President of his personal commitment as well as that of the entire NMS team in working towards not only meeting but exceeding the expectations of Nairobians.

“NMS remains a place where efficiency meets effectiveness for accelerated development of Nairobi and we want to restore its lost glory,” Major General Badi said.

This event, however, raises questions on whether the NMS is a short term agency or will be in place in the long-haul.

On February 25, Governor Mike Sonko, who has since been pushed to the periphery, signed off key county functions to the national government. They include health services, transport, public works, untilities and ancillary services and planning and development.

State House said this was to ensure Nairobi residents receive services efficiently.

“The move comes as a breakthrough in the running of county services that had ground to a halt,” the statement read. Two months later in April, Sonko threatened to withdraw from the agreement between City Hall and the national government citing frustrations in the implementation of the deal.

“Some greedy officers in the government, especially the ones who hate me, have hijacked the process to embarrass and frustrate me,” Sonko claimed.

He threatened to move to court to nullify the agreement.

NMS Director General and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko/ FILE

In a case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah, the High Court on June 18 declared the Deed of Transfer of Functions as vague and irregular.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa ruled that the deal was not approved by the County Assembly therefore making it unlawful.

The court further declared the transfer of 6,000 county employees and secondment of CEOs to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) as irregular and illegal since the Governor of Nairobi, Mike Sonko was not consulted.

She gave the government 90 days to rectify the illegality failure to which any party will be at liberty to move the court for appropriate action.

However, if the initial Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report is anything to go by, the NMS might be in place for the long-term.

The report proposed that the national government takes over key functions in on Nairobi, and that the city be accorded a special status.

“However, such special Status should not impede on the right of the people to representation at the Ward and Constituency levels,” the report said.

Nairobi being the capital city houses all the arms of the government and is also an international city being the third global headquarters of the United Nations.

The capital is also a major diplomatic hub.

“To maintain its special status as a global UN Headquarter and meet its obligation towards the United Nations and other diplomatic missions,” the report said.

On the night of June 1, President Kenyatta and ODM leaer Raila Odinga were seen in a leaked CCTV inspecting ongoing development projects in Nairobi city centre, which are being implemented by NMS.

They inspected drainage, street lighting, roads and the reconstruction of pavements.

Days later, Uhuru placed the NMS under the Office of the President through an Executive order.

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