Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has said he has no problem funding the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) as long as everything is done as stipulated in the constitution.
Sonko, who appeared before the Senate’s County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC) to answer audit queries for the financial years 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/18, said he fully supports President Uhuru and the NMS boss Major General Badi.
“I am not here to outshine NMS. I want to make it very clear that I support the President towards this initiative and the Director General towards this initiative so long as the law is followed,” Sonko said.
Sonko explained that issues revolving around the funding of the NMS are a contravention of Section 5 of the PFM Act.
He requested the committee to intervene and help get the way forward on the matter.
He revealed that the county is yet to receive its monthly funds from the Exchequer for the last four months, who he said is a result of his hard stance on the need to follow the law.
The governor argued that the constitutional responsibility of running the county still squarely lies with the county and he does not want to get into trouble for overseeing an illegality.
He asked the committee to help the public in understanding the whole of article 187 on the transfer of functions.
“Everybody who supports NMS only reads the part of article 187 that talks about transfer of functions but then they leave out the part that says the responsibility of the transferred functions still lies with the county government,” the Governor said.
He added that he signed the Deed of Transfer in good faith and hailed the NMS for doing a good job but warned against blackmail from the National Treasury.
Sonko wants the Senate to quickly intervene so that the Treasury can quickly release funds owed to the county as per the law.
He said it is wrong for the Treasury to force the county into releasing funds for the NMS to clear pending bills without following the right procedure.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said the matters raised were pertinent and should be handled without any interference from other quarters.
“This is the only forum through which the governor can raise some of these issues because he can not do it in a public Baraza in Pangani,” Cherargei said.
The committee was not able to interrogate the governor on the audit queries after he explained that he currently has no access to office hence cannot adequately respond to questions.
The session was adjourned but Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina said the committee should now set precedence and come up with a solution for future reference in-case of cooperation between governments.
“We need to understand what it is in article 187(2)b and what 189 says about cooperation. We really need to be able to set a precedence that when the constitution gives the two levels of government a chance to cooperate, we need to understand what it means,” the Senator said.
Committee Chairman Sam Ongeri promised to follow up on the governor’s request for harmonization of the working relationship between the County and the NMS but noted that he will have to consult the legal team.
Ongeri called on Sonko to consider petitioning the Senate as well on some of the matters raised.
“We shall be retiring to look at the merits and demerits of what you presented to us then we will take advice from our legal team,” Ongeri said.
In the meeting, Sonko also reassured his supporters that he is confident he will soon be a free man and ready to serve again.
“I’ll be back in office and serve the great people of Nairobi,” he said.