Elachi to Sonko: Kahiga will remain Nairobi Finance CEC until further notice
Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi has waded into the ongoing battle at Nairobi county Finance office reiterating that Pauline Kahiga remains Nairobi’s bona fide Finance Executive.
The Speaker said that Ms Kahiga will remain at the helm of the department until the National Government completes takeover of the county’s key functions.
PERSONA NON GRATA
Furthermore, she said she will write to the National Treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya over the same amid supremacy battles at the County Treasury with two CECs claiming the Finance docket.
“Ms Kahiga remains CEC for Finance until the takeover is complete,” said Ms Elachi.
The step taken by Ms Elachi comes after the county government published a public notice in one of the local dailies on Tuesday labeling Ms Kahiga and Economic Planning Chief Officer Washington Makodingo “persona non grata” saying that they ceased to be employees of City Hall as of February 1, 2020.
In the public notice, the county government indicated that Finance CEC Ms Kahiga, former Agriculture CEC Winfred Gathangu and Dr Makodingo had ceased being employees of City Hall as of February 1, 2020.
“It is notified for the general information that the persons whose pictures appear above ceased to be employees of the Nairobi County Government effective February 1, 2020….the said persons are not authorized to transact on behalf of the county,” read in part the notice.
In January, Governor Mike Sonko sacked both Ms Kahiga and Ms Gathagu during a reshuffle to his cabinet replacing the former with Trade CEC Allan Igambi.
STILL IN OFFICE
However, a defiant Ms Kahiga said she is going nowhere despite a gazette notice published by City Hall announcing the termination of her contract as Finance CEC.
She stated that her degazettement was not done in accordance with the law and therefore, she will continue performing her duties until a pending court case on the matter is determined.
“If I ceased being an employee of the county in February how am I still making payments then? The Governor had a message that he wanted to send out there by issuing the notice but I can assure you I am still in office,” said Ms Kahiga.
On Monday, Ms Kahiga authorized for the release of Sh1 billion to go towards the payment of staff salaries. Before that, she had also paid Kemsa Sh166.9 million. All these, she said, are a clear indication that she is still in charge at the Finance office.
On his part, Dr Makodingo also slammed the notice, saying that he has a contract up to 2022, accusing Mr Sonko of trying to interfere with operations of the Finance department.
“I have a valid contract until November, 2022 and for the record, I have never seen a letter from the Board firing me. The governor has no power to fire a chief officer and even if he were to tell me by word of mouth, I wouldn’t leave because he has no power to fire me as I am employed by the Board,” said Dr Makodingo.
According to the law, the County Public Service Board (CPSB) is mandated to hire and fire chief officers.