Nairobi City Governor Mike Sonko has dismissed as escapism allegations by NMS that his administration was to blame for the ailing health sector in the Capital.
This was after the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Mohammed Badi claimed that the Governor had denied NMS funds triggering a healthcare crisis in the county.
Badi also claimed the alleged financial standoff was to blame for the recent incident in which a woman delivered outside the gates of Pumwani Maternity Hospital following a workers’ go-slow.
But in a statement to media houses on Tuesday, Governor Sonko blasted Major Badi for being insencere regarding governance crisis occasioned by introduction of NMS six months ago.
“It is indeed unfortunate that the NMS has resorted to providing the public with petty excuses to cover up for their gross incompetence and ineptitude since they assumed delegated responsibility over four transferred functions,” read the statement in part.
Governor Sonko also said it was lazy, escapist and insensitive for the NMS to attribute the Pumwani incident to their inability to access the County Payroll.
He further said the NMS was full aware there exists no law allowing a County Government to finance the operations of the Office of the President where they are domiciled.
“As such, resorting to cheap blackmail will not solve the legal challenges before us, and trying to paint my administration as failed will not cure their incompetence,” the County Boss pointed out.
He rued that overall service delivery had been hampered due to the confusion which he said arose from NMS’s penchant for petty politics that added no value to Nairobi residents.
Moreover, Sonko revealed that his administration was under pressure from the Auditor General and the Ministry of Health to account for the over Sh 294 million allocated to Nairobi to fight the COVID-19 pandemic but wired directly by the National Treasury to NMS in complete contravention of the law.
“NMS has refused to account for these monies, yet they purport to be unable to perform their functions ‘due to lack of funds’,” he lamented.
He, however, noted that his administration paid over Sh 120 million to county health workers in July as per the Presidential directive to motivate those on the frontline in battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sonko also questioned NMS’s financial prudence saying that it was still a mystery whether the NMS operates bank account(s), who the signatories are, where their funding comes from, and how they account for such monies.
“The question is, is the Nairobi City County Government supposed to wire money to Major Badi’s personal accounts or his M-Pesa??? And which law allows that??? Sonko wondered.
“Therefore, the issue of lack of support and cooperation from my administration does not arise,” emphasized Sonko.
He also said NMS, out of their pursuit to perpetuate impunity, as it has become their trade, made illicit arrangements to pay the staff seconded to them a few days ago.
“It has since emerged that they paid salaries to dead people and retirees, returning Nairobi to the culture of paying ghost workers that I had eliminated since I assumed office,” Sonko revealed.
He said all indications pointed to NMS “emerging as the new face of cartels in Nairobi, determined to not only restore ghost workers into the County Payroll, but also pay ghost suppliers in the Pending Bills that I reduced from 64 Billion shillings to 11 Billion shillings.”
He maintained that the Nairobi County Public Service Board remains the employer of all the seconded staff, and nothing stops the seconded staff from executing their duties as per the contracts of employment.
He said NMS had undoubtedly failed in its mandate as there was nothing much to show so far “apart from a few coloured pavements in the City Centre, whose contracts were awarded by my administration even before they existed.
“Garbage has been piling up across many parts of the City, the lethargy that I had eliminated in our public healthcare sector has been reintroduced, the Pumwani incident being a case at hand.”
The vocal Governor urged NMS to desist from the sideshows and blame games and focus on delivering on their mandate within the law and as tasked by the President.