Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has been operating without a deputy governor ever since Polycarp Igathe resigned as the capital’s second in command in January 2018.
Since then, the governor has cut the image of a paranoid person who has sacked his County Executive Committee (CEC) members at will and has at times run county affairs from his home in Machakos claiming his life is in danger.
Those who have borne the brunt of the governor’s unorthodox methods include former Devolution CEC Vesca Kangongo and former Health CEC Hitan Majevdia who were suspended in August 2018 for what the governor described as disloyalty and insurbodination however they were reinstaited in April this year albeit on different roles.
The finance docket has recorded the highest turnover and has been held by six different people in just three years including Vesca Kangongo, Danvas Makori, Ekaya Alumasi, Newton Munene, Winfred Gathangu and Charles Kerich.
While suspending Kangongo as Finance CEC, Sonko accused her of spying for former governor Evans Kidero.
In an interview with a local station former Education CEC Janet Ouko claimed that she resigned as the governors methods made it impossible for her to work and at times would call deep into the night over non urgent issues.
But all this while, there has been an untouchable in Sonko’s government.
Kerich has been the governor’s most trusted ally and has held plum dockets in the government even as the county boss continues to fit square pegs into round holes.
On Monday, Sonko gave Kerich ‘super CEC’ powers, akin to the ones Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i enjoys in the national government.
In Executive Order No 1/2019, Sonko gave Kerich the mandate to supervise his fellow CECs and will now supervise the 10 sectors of the county government by implementing and coordinating programmes.
He will also receive reports from the other CECs on all projects as well as give directions to the CECs on how to navigate challenges hindering service delivery.
Kerich has also been given the authority to provide coordinated strategic communication to the public and other stakeholders on county projects.
The former Radio Africa editor and veteran journalist will report directly to the governor.