By Samson Wire
Governor Mike Sonko has made changes to his cabinet in a bid to revamp services as he battles to clear his name.
Sonko reinstated Charles Kerich as CEC after his suspension in September last year.
Kerich now heads the Lands, Urban Planning and Housing docket that was previously held by Pauline Kahiga.
He is expected to spearhead the urban renewal program that targets to set up affordable houses for Nairobi residents. The program started last week in Pangani, with the contractor having officially moved to the ground.
This is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big four agenda that also targets to improve access to affordable houses in the city.
“We must ensure that the projects should be completed within the set timelines as envisioned in our development agenda,” Sonko said in his message to Kerich.
Kahiga has been kicked out of the cabinet alongside Winnie Gathagu, who previously held the Agriculture docket.
In a notice on Friday, Sonko appointed Karen Nyamu to the Agriculture docket and George Frederick Omogi Osewe to the Trade, Commerce, Cooperatives and Tourism docket.
The two new faces await vetting by the county assembly.
Mohammed Dagane, who was also suspended alongside Kerich, returns as the Roads, Transport and Public Works CEC.
He previously held the Health docket which is now headed by Hitan Majevdia.
The governor has also called for quick commencement of part two of the county’s rehabilitation of roads, after a tremendous progress in the last two years.
The County has done 123km of road since 2017.
Dagane has been tasked to liaise with relevant national government agencies that have partnered with the county in infrastructure development.
He is also expected to ensure that the planned revamping of several streets in Nairobi kicks off without delay.
Vesca Kangogo takes over the Devolution docket after having served as Environment executive and acting as the Health head while Dagane was suspended.
Larry Wambua, who was at the helm of the Devolution docket goes to the Environment department.
Newton Munene retains his ICT just as Lucia Mulwa retains her Education, Youth and Sports docket.
Allan Igambi is the head of the Finance and Economic Planning docket.
The governor has warned against sabotage, specifically singling out the Finance department, where he says there are plans to secretly reintroduce pending bills that were quashed by the PLO Lumumba-led pending bills committee and the Auditor General.
“The Finance department has to remain firm and true to the needs of Nairobi residents. Genuine suppliers have to be paid in time and those who supplied air should not be allowed to return through the backdoor,” Sonko said
Igambi has been tasked with the work of clearing pending bills owed to suppliers, ensuring revenue collection is within targeted figures and guiding all sectors to adhere to the county’s annual development plan.
Leboo Morintat remains the county secretary as Peter Kamau Mugo continues his duties as chief of staff.
Lydia Kwamboka is the county attorney.
This comes as Sonko promises even better services in 2020.
He enumerated the achievements of his administration over the 2018/2019 fiscal year which saw own source revenue increase to Sh10.25 billion up from Sh10.11 the previous year.
Over the same period, the county’s wage bill reduced by 7.4 per cent to Sh13.74 billion, down from Sh14.84 billion the previous fiscal year.
The revamping of the health sector saw several hospitals including Pumwani Maternity, Mama Lucy Kibaki, Mbagathi, Mutuini and the Kangemi Health Centres.
Larry Wambua who was serving at the Devolution docket has been moved to the Environment docket.
Vesca Kangogo has been serving as substantive CEC for Environment and acting for health has been moved to the Devolution department.
Hiten Majevdya, Newton Munene and Lucia Mulwa have remained in their respective dockets of ICT and Education.
Leboo in his end added that he will work tirelessly and round the clock to ensure that governor’s manifesto is spearheaded and every Nairobian gets better services.