The transfer of Nairobi county functions to the National government has opened a can of worms and exposed the infighting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga.
Even before the ink on the gazette notice drys, ODM leader has began scheming to take over the leadership of Nairobi county which he lost in 2017 when his candidate Evans Kidero was defeated by Mike Sonko of Jubilee.
The transfer of functions now portends a fierce fight between the duo who have have been reading virtually on the same book since the 9th March handshake that birthed the BBI.
With the functions having been transferred, the National government will appoint a state officer and a secretariat to oversee the transferred functions.
The post of the state officer will be powerful and equivalent to a governor or a cabinet secretary.
Sonko will remain a ceremonial governor and will oversee the less critical functions which have not been transferred.
It’s the immense power this position holds that has attracted the interest of Raila Odinga who is keen on using the handshake to bargain for his ODM party to get a share of the national cake.
According to insiders aware with the intrigues behind the lobbing, Raila Odinga is pushing for his daughter Rosemary Odinga to be given the position. Raila is banking on the handshake and BBI to convince Uhuru who is equally under pressure from powerful Mt. Kenya oligarchs to appoint former Dagoretti South MP and 2017 Nairobi governor hopeful Dennis Waweru.
Waweru is also the coordinator of Mount Kenya Foundation–an amorphous group of powerful tycoons from Mt. Kenya –whose chairman is former Equity group chairman Peter Munga.
Uhuru on the hand is said to be fronting former Gatanga MP and presidential hopeful Peter Kenneth who unsuccessfully vied for the 2017 Nairobi gubernatorial election. According to sources, Uhuru is keen on appointing a proven person who will restore the fortunes of Nairobi as the leading investment hub in East Africa and Peter Kenneth is his choice.
With the race narrowed to three, Odinga is leaving nothing to chance and has began plotting in earnest to gift his daughter Rosemary Odinga the leadership of Nairobi county on a silver platter.
This morning, Raila Odinga is reported to have called Uhuru’s allies David Murathe and nominated MP Maina Kamanda for a meeting to deliberate on the matter. Raila will also hope to use his profound working relationship with governors from Mt. Kenya region to lobby for Rosemary Odinga.
But what may complicate matters for Odinga’s push for Rosemary is that he may not wish to antagonize the Mt. Kenya tycoons’ candidate Dennis Waweru. Raila is banking on a deal to gift him presidency in exchange of Prime minister to Mt. Kenya under a new constitution, a deal that the tycoons are interested in.
The tycoons under the Mount Kenya Foundation met at Safari Park Hotel on Monday for a meeting that went late into the night.
Sonko yesterday transferred some functions to the national government in a deal that will see corruption charges against him dropped. The impeachment motion currently before the city assembly will also be withdrawn.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has hailed the landmark agreement to transfer Nairobi county functions to the National government as one that will ensure smooth delivery of critical services.