How State House ‘influence’ caused rift between Sonko and Igathe
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Mike Sonko at Uhuru Park during the Nairobi governor's swearing in ceremony on August 21, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO By COLLINS OMULO
Friday’s announcement by Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe that he was resigning was the culmination of multi-billion shillings tender wars and the battle for control of the country’s richest county.
While the announcement caught many by surprise, investigations revealed serious differences between Governor Mike Sonko and Mr Igathe over the manner the county’s affairs were being run. Sources in both camps confided in the Nation that the fallout had been long coming due to a clash of egos and rifts over the payment of pending bills.
Efforts to contact both men on Saturday bore no fruits as Mr Sonko could not be reached on his cell phone while Mr Igathe did not return our calls.
But Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja expressed regrets at Mr Igathe’s decision, saying he could have explored other avenues of resolving his differences with Mr Sonko instead of throwing in the towel.
“What happened is regrettable and should have been the last resort after different avenues including consulting were explored,” Mr Sakaja told the Nation.
He said plans were under way to bring Mr Sonko and Mr Igathe and other Nairobi leaders together next week to deliberate on the matter.
At the centre of what one source described as “irreconcilable” differences between Mr Sonko and Mr Igathe is the feeling among the former’s allies that the latter was imposed on them by powerful forces.
The sources traced the differences to President Kenyatta’s initial endorsement of former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth on April 15, last year, to run for the gubernatorial seat in Nairobi at a time their man was struggling to secure a certificate of good conduct from the Police.
The endorsement came only days after Mr Sonko had bitterly complained that powerful forces in government were determined to frustrate his gubernatorial bid.
Mr Sonko eventually clinched the Jubilee ticket, beating Mr Kenneth hands down.
According to Mr Sonko’s allies, Mr Igathe was never his choice of running mate but that of State House to specifically take charge of policy implementation in the county.
Sources close to Mr Igathe state that the “gentleman’s” agreement was that his boss sticks to politics while he runs policies and handles administrative duties.
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SOURCE: Sunday Nation