Barely a week after Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua snubbed Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja at a presidential function in Uhuru Park Nairobi, sources now reveal that the move has backfired on the DP’s ally at City Hall, Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri.
According to well-placed sources, all has not been well between Mr. Gachagua, Governor Sakaja, and, by extension, DG Muchiri. The big fallout is a result of claims by the Mr Gachagua that the governor, whom he campaigned for, has turned a deaf ear against businessmen from the Mount Kenya region based in Nairobi, that the governor has been making unilateral decisions that have diverse effects on their businesses, especially the matatu industry.
Mr Sakaja, on the other hand, has complained to his confidantes that the DP is secretly talking to UDA party MCAs to impeach him for Mr Muchiri to take over from him. As a politician, Sakaja is said to have been playing it cool but has lately shown his deputy a cold shoulder and has not involved him in the running of county affairs. According to sources, Mr Muchiri has not been on talking terms with Sakaja, he has told those close to him that the honeymoon between him and Sakaja is over and that they will square it out in 2027.
In a move that is being seen as a fully blown-out fallout between Sakaja and his deputy, The Weekly Vision has learnt that Governor Sakaja has invoked his powers of assigning his deputy official duties and has withdrawn all functions he had placed under the office of the DG. According to well-placed sources, governor Sakaja has transferred official roles, including coordinating and implementing county executive decisions, specifically business and hustler opportunities, boroughs, administration, and personnel from Mr. Muchiri’s control.
It is unclear where the withdrawn functions have been transferred to, but city hall sources have divulged that the DP now remains without any portfolio.
We also discovered that following the fallout, Sakaja has also ordered the withdrawal of security and the DG’s personal aides, in a move seen as crippling and clipping the DP’s wings. Sources say that county askaris assigned to the DG have been ordered to report to the director in charge of the inspectorate for redeployment. It is still not known if the DG had been assigned officers from the national police service, but the tradition at City Hall has been that police officers are only seconded to the governor.
Those who have been keenly watching the events as they unfold at City Hall reveal that Sakaja had received intelligence reports that the DG and the DP had been secretly working on a plot to lobby Nairobi City County Assembly MCAs to impeach him and make Muchiri the governor.
Acting on a tip, Sakaja has pulled a fast one on his deputy, and analysts now say that following the fallout, the DG is expected to react and take on Sakaja head-on. What is not clear is where all the drama puts President William Ruto, who is said to be in full support of Sakaja at least for now, as was witnessed during the Uhuru Park function, where he allowed Sakaja to use his presidential podium, something that did not go down well with Gachagua, who publicly accused Ruto to his face that he had broken protocol.
Sources say the majority of MCAs are allied to Sakaja and that any attempt to impeach him at the Assembly is most likely to hit a brick wall.
Njoroge’s political future now hangs in the balance, and the only way to salvage it is if Ruto can reconcile Sakaja with Gachagua and then Muchiri.
Immediately after being sworn into office last year, Mr. Muchiri attempted to usurp the powers of the governor, making some decisions without consulting his boss. This was the genesis of the fallout. Initially, Sakaja and his deputy were holding weekly meetings and participating in almost every decision on the running of the affairs of the county, but that stopped immediately when Sakaja realized that he had given his deputy too much space and was operating as a co-governor.
It is important to note that with the backing of Gachagua, Muchiri attempted to run a parallel office, hosting delegations and even making staff changes without consulting his boss. This at one time brought conflict between the two, and Sakaja had to revoke some of the transfers that had been made without his blessing and concurrence. It is therefore a matter of time before either the president comes in to call for a truce, or the worst that could happen is for Njoroge to throw in the towel and resign.