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Let Sakaja work! UDA-allied MCAs ask Senate to reduce Sakaja’s summons

Nairobi County Assembly MCAs from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party have come out to defend Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja from the Senate summons.

The message from over 30 MCAs who gathered at the Assembly premises was clear: the Senate should allow Governor Sakaja to work.

In solidarity with their governor, whom they described as a hardworking man in Nairobi County since devolution began, the members claimed that the frequent summons by the Senate were more political than developmental.

The clash came after the Senate asked Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to arrest Sakaja for skipping summons.

While the role of the Senate is largely to keep the county government on its toes, MCAs in Nairobi feel that the summonses are becoming excessive, to the extent that the governor is forced to ask some of the Senate committees to reschedule their meetings.

“The governor and his executive have been faithful to both the senate and county assemblies. In fact, in this financial year alone, the governor has been to the Senate more than 11 times and we are sure he will go there to respond,” says a statement read by Umoja One MCA Mark Mugambi.

Mugambi, who is also the Minority Whip, said the Senate’s move was a political assault disguised as oversight of Nairobi County.

Sakaja was supposed to appear before the Energy Committee but did not show up as he was out of the country.

“We wonder why the undue focus is on Nairobi alone. We have seen the governor respond to the Senate more than ten times. We have not seen other governors summoned to the Senate. Is this premature politics?

The MCAs also said the Senate should allow the Assembly to familiarise itself with the Auditor General’s report on the executive for the year ended June 2023, which raises a lot of questions about unauthorised expenditure in Sakaja’s administration.

“We are asking the Senate and the public to allow Governor Sakaja and his executive to explain the audit questions… as members of the County Assembly, we have not been given the opportunity to interact with the audit report, we have not been given that time. This shows that they are trying to say that we are not doing our oversight role.

While defending the governor, the MCAs claimed that the governor was not fully in office with his entire team, as some of the CECs he worked with in the year ending June 2023 were from the previous administration, and that some of the issues raised could not directly affect Sakaja.

This comes as Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna and Embakasi East MP Babu Owino continue to criticise the governor for misplaced priorities in his administration, assuring residents that they will send him home in the 2027 elections.

But the governor has defended himself on several occasions, saying he is cleaning up the mess he inherited and that some of the programmes, such as the school feeding programme, are reaching thousands of schoolchildren who were suffering from urban poverty.