Regular Kenya Forum readers will know that we have often been highly critical of the City Council of Nairobi for being one of the most corrupt and inefficient bodies in Kenya. Two tales of action being taken against corrupt officials, however, now suggest that there are rays of hope appearing that might mean the administration of our capital city is at last being put in order.
CORRUPT OFFICIALS CAUGHT ON CAMERA
Following some excellent undercover work by K24, six askaris were caught on camera apparently threatening local residents and extorting money from them, a practice with which all Nairobians are familiar.
In the past little or no action would have been taken but Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero appears to be made of sterner stuff. All six askaris – Rodgers Atira, Stephen Mule, Joseph Areri, Peterson Karianjahi and Reuben Mureu – have been suspended from work, as have three supervisors – Alfred Sifuna, Amos Labilo and David Kimani.
KIDERO – INSPECTORS AND COMMANDERS MUST CHANGE ATTITUDE
There is even talk that the head of the City Inspectorate’s Department, Hillary Wambugu, will also be suspended. Other inspectors and commanders have been warned by Kidero to change their attitude toward city residents.
Governor Kidero is said to have told council officers that they are to concentrate on educating the public about the local by-laws, not punish them. Meanwhile, the ‘archaic’ by-laws are being reviewed.
UNREPORTED BOGUS OFFICIALS
That was a story that was in the news. Now for one that has not been reported but which again gives reason for hope that Nairobi’s governance is improving.
The Kenya Forum has been told that the residents of one of Nairobi’s leafier suburbs have been visited by groups of men claiming to be council officials checking on electricity meters, illegal waste dumping, dog licences – you name it.
One man reported that he was gardening outside the front of his house when the bogus officials collared him and claimed he was dumping soil on the road. They said he would be fined several hundred thousand shillings but if he paid an on-the-spot fine of Sh50,000 the problem would go away.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR MUEKE TAKES ACTION
The officials were bogus but it seems they were linked to a real local government official who backed up their claims.
Enter Nairobi City County Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke. The Kenya Forum has been told that he is ‘straight’ and will not countenance corruption. Mueke was informed of the gang’s activities we are told, resulting in arrests and the sacking of local officials.
The Kenya Forum hopes that these two stories bode well for the future and we urge Governor Kidero and Deputy Governor Mueke to keep up the good work.