Insider’s view: An open letter to Governor Mike Sonko

Kamau Mugo, then Nairobi County Government Chief of staff, is seen here in a high-level meeting attended by Governor Mike Sonko.

Kamau Mugo, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s former chief of staff, has written and share his piece of mind with his former boss. The letter, published below in full is both a critique and eye-opener for Sonko, whose leadership of the Nairobi City County has come into question. Most services are below par while appointments to the county have been reduced to emotional decisions.

Below is the letter:

Considered regards Your Excellency.

I hope this finds you well. It has taken me a lot of thought to write this to you. While my intentions are sincerely noble, I must admit that I honestly wish I would have reached out to you a different medium, but being your former Chief of Staff, that would be easy.

Sir, before I go into my reasons for writing to you, allow me to first reiterate my sincere gratitude for the opportunity you accorded me to serve, albeit briefly, as your Chief of Staff. It was a great honour.

Having known and worked with you for a considerable time, it is my conviction that your commitment to champion the social-economic development of the common mwananchi defines your character as a leader. Your defence of hawkers, boda boda riders, mama mbogas and the like since your days as a Member of Parliament for Makadara and as Nairobi Senator is self-evident.

It is against this backdrop of true servanthood that we crafted a convincing manifesto that promised service delivery to Nairobians, culminating in your landslide election as Nairobi County’s chief executive despite sustained witch-hunt and negative propaganda mounted by your well wheeled opponents.    

Your assumption of office heralded renewed hope that Nairobi was finally on a path to becoming the region’s economic and travel hub of choice.

However, Bwana Governor, a year down the line, the script is completely lost. Hopes are vanquished and Nairobians are in despair as a result of your shaky and acrimonious style of leadership.

As a friend, I remain morally and duty bound to urge you to wake up and smell the coffee. I know your team of sycophants will seek to crucify me with their half-baked arguments and misjudgment of my intentions. But I must tell you as it is, for only the truth can really set a man free.

While Nairobians and Kenyans expected your forthright commitment to providing conducive environment for trade, cleaning up the city, developing infrastructure, decongesting traffic, openness and inclusivity of all stakeholders in decision making, none of these has been forthcoming.

Yours has been a precarious one-man show marked with unilateral and unconsidered populist maneuvers which has seriously impacted on the delivery of your mandate as expected.

Your unfounded declarations and melodrama in mass media, intimidation and impromptu sacking of key staff have completely undermined the institutional framework of the County Government and turned you into the proverbial naked despot.

One seemingly more concerned with flying flags on cars, having sirens on chase cars and moving around with a whole police station as bodyguards. One who can afford to water grass and flowers yet millions of his subjects cannot access the same. My King, you are naked.

In his wisdom, Rev Jesse Jackson noted: “If you plant by the wind, you harvest by the whirlpool of disappointments.”

Your hordes of sycophants may not tell you but questions abound over your sensational reaction to the death of infants at Pumwani Maternity Hospital. While your actions may have been well intentioned, it is lost on the public as to why you did not engage the lawful authorities in pursuing the perpetrators of your allegations. Who and where are the victims of the infant deaths?

Further, the recent subjective demolition of illegal structures is being misinterpreted as a blackmail and extortion exercise, all because it was carried out devoid of any institutional anchorage.

Fortunately, I believe that these are just but minor setbacks and that you have the fortitude to reinvent yourself and live up to your bidding as an outstanding governor.

Here is my two cents worth for your consideration; a polite reminder of the salient pillars of your mandate as contracted by the good people of Nairobi.

One, it is high time that you embraced teamwork. I urge that you restructure and reorganise your executive and find yourself a team of persons of value who share in your vision. It is imperative that you cultivate a strong teamwork ethic.

Insider's view: An open letter to Governor Mike Sonko Demolitions-in-buru Sonko nairobi main story main

Hundreds of traders lost their stalls through demolitions in Nairobi’s Eastlands.

Two, invest in researching and getting your facts right before rushing to the media to engage in empty political public relations. Your future endeavors and political ambitions are heavily dependent on this.

Three, complementary to Jubilee’s Big Four agenda, direct your efforts towards formulating through your executive and county assembly sustainable legal and policy frameworks that shall facilitate development of adequate and affordable housing, improved sanitation and environmental management, enhanced security and turn Nairobi into an international business capital. Ensure affordable and accessible healthcare, empower our youth and women by setting up modern kiosks and empowerment centres and initiate social programmes that shall foster cohesion and integration of the citizenry across all social classes.

Having said this, my conscience now rests easy. I pray and trust that you shall bear and pardon any offence my letter may cause and as well have the wisdom to take up the benefits of my unsolicited counsel. Peace be upon you.

Yours Truly,

Kamau Mugo

Forever a Friend.

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