Tension: How City Hall’s shortest political marriage hit the rocks
9 months ago, 13 Jan 09:07
In public, the pair seemed like political lovebirds but in private they brawled like little monsters. When one slammed brakes on the facade yesterday, one of the shortest political marriages in Kenya’s history was unveiled. In a dramatic move, Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe quit his position and attributed it to his own failure to win the trust of his boss, Governor Mike Sonko. The move finally lifted the lid on the uneasy relationship between the pair that has been running the affairs of Kenya’s capital city for the last five months. “Dear Nairobians, it is with heavy heart that I resign my seat as the deputy governor of Nairobi City County,” he said in a short 48 word message sent to newsrooms. Three hours to the surprise resignation, Mr Igathe was sitting pretty in a live TV set defending his stint and asking for more time to deliver. It was all a smokescreen. “I regret having failed to earn the trust of the governor to enable me drive administration and management of the county,” he said in the statement hours after the interview. What transpired in the last few days before his shocking resignation, is still unclear. However, those in the know say Igathe’s intention to resign was made on Thursday during an induction workshop for the County Executive Committee (CEC) members in Mombasa. What broke the camel’s back is a high-ranking position in the county that Sonko wished to fill but his push was resisted by his deputy – who felt being a corporate executive he was best placed to recruit whoever was to be given the job. Publicly differed Igathe is also said to have publicly differed with Sonko during the workshop at the Sun and Sand Beach resort in front of the CEC’s on a policy issue. Frustrated, he said he doesn’t fear resigning. “He said he can leave this job to them if they want it,” said a source. He then took a flight back to Nairobi and left the CECs and the governor in Mombasa. By yesterday evening they were still in Mombasa. Sonko could not be reached on phone but those close to him said he was shocked. Those in the know say Igathe became frustrated after being turned into an errand boy for Sonko. A former corporate executive who has built his career in board rooms thought he was going to be given a portfolio to run which had not happened by yesterday. “Sonko is running everything and Igathe feels his skills are not being utilised. He has tried severally to come up with a team he can work with but Sonko’s machinery have stood on the way,” said our source. “He must have been very naïve when he took the job,” said the source. During the campaigns Sonko had intimated that he would take care of county politics while Igathe does executive work. However, once in City Hall, the governor’s axis has continuously treated Igathe as a State House appointee whose ...
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