Sonko halts renewal of contracts for city chief officers



More by this Author

The fate of most Nairobi County chief officers hangs in the balance, with their annual contracts having expired.

On Thursday last week, Governor Mike Sonko ordered the 23 bureaucrats to hand over their offices to the directors of their departments.

This came just a day after the governor publicly criticised members of his Cabinet, accusing them of laziness and corruption.

Mr Sonko has put on hold the renewal of the officers’ contracts through an executive order.

His communication director Elkana Jacob said action on the contracts was suspended in order to evaluate the officers’ performance, adding that some would be retained.

“We are waiting for a comprehensive statement from the appointing authority. Thereafter, we will know who we will retain and which posts to remain,” Mr Jacob said.

A county chief officer is the equivalent of a principal secretary in the national government.

He is charged with the day-to-day operations of a department and is answerable to the executive.

Chief officers also have the power to deploy a county public officer within a department.

They are the policy administrators and accounting officers of their departments.

If some of the chief officers are relieved of their duties, it would take a long time to hire new ones as the county does not have a properly constituted board.

The law says that a governor can nominate qualified and experienced chief officers from among people competitively sourced and recommended by the County Public Service Board.

The nominees are then vetted by the county assembly for approval before being appointed to their positions.

The Nairobi PSB has only four members — board chairman Philip Kung’u, chief executive Meshack Gutto, and members Maurice Wambua and Josephine Gichui.

Three other members — Vesca Kangogo, Charity Kisotu and Chomba Munyi — left before their terms expired.

The terms for the remaining members end in June.

In May 2018, the assembly vetted and approved several chief officers, including Aaron Kibet (ICT), Peter Mukenya (e-government), Mohamed Abdi (Livestock and Fisheries), Anne Mwenda (Disaster Management), Mude Ibrahim (Youths and Sports) and Paul Macharia (Tourism).

Others were Fredrick Karanja (Roads, but now in Agriculture), Richard Kavemba (Transport), David Makori (Environment), Mohamed Abdirahman (Water) and Lucia Mulwa (Education) has been made the county executive member in the same department.


Source link