By Kenn Okaka
Nairobi Governor scored poorly in the latest opinion poll that was released on Friday by Insight Strategists Solutions Africa.
Embu governor Cecily Mbarire was ranked the best-performing county boss with a score of 65.4 percent in the survey as ISS Africa unveiled the results of the poll conducted in all 47 counties between 24th and 26th of August 2023 focusing on the governors’ development and approval ratings.
Interestingly, a significant number of the second-term governors who performed very well in the firm’s last survey have deteriorated in performance. The survey was released exactly one year after Governors were sworn into office.
Sakaja scored poorly in both development and approval ratings in the survey by Insight Strategists Solutions Africa in conjunction with City Hub Company Limited. Sakaja who is undertaking key projects in the City among them Ksh1.2 B School Feeding Program, Dishi na County as well as major developments in the City County’s health care department emerged last on the list of the bottom 10 governors after scoring a 33.2 percent.
The Governors’ development rating provided an aggregate of feedback provided by respondents on a scale of 1-5 based on their perception of the performance of respective Governors in regard to all devolved functions including agriculture, water, health and fiscal management.
However, the survey lacked in credibility as doubts are cast over the integrity and intent of the man behind the poll, ISS Africa lead consultant Ben Mulwa.
Mulwa, a former spokesperson to former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, in 2022 unsuccessfully made intentions to run for the Nairobi Gubernatorial seat before applying for various positions in the Sakaja new administration, all for which he was never appointed.
His political ambition to be Nairobi Governor and the subsequent failure to land appointment as a County Executive Committee Member or Chief Officer in Sakaja’s administration has dampened the spirit and intent of his new poll rating Sakaja as the poorest of governors.
What has changed to the government he so badly sought to serve in cabinet, making it the worst performing once he failed to secure an appointment to serve in the government? Or would an administration on score well if he had been part of it?
Mulwa, was dismissed by Governor Sonko as his spokesman at a time when the former Governor had run into a myriad of communication blunders and was facing legal battles which eventually led to his ouster as Nairobi’s second Governor.
Mulwa controversially attempted to run for Nairobi Governor on a Wiper Democratic Party ticket which was later withdrawn and Wiper opted to support the Azimio La Umoja joint candidate. His gamble would then turn to positioning himself as Businessman Richard Ngatia’s running mate. However, Ngatia did not support his candidacy, and when Tim Wanyonyi returned to Westlands as an MP, Mulwa was left with limited options but to remain in the cold.
After Sakaja won the governorship, Mulwa applied for the position of CEC in Nairobi County but was never shortlisted. He also applied for the position of Chief Officer but faced the same outcome putting to question his credentials and now, all pointers indicate that Mulwa, who has no known research skills, uses his organization to blackmail politicians by ranking them poorly. This was likely the reason why Sonko dismissed him initially.
Mulwa paint a picture of a wheeler dealer who uses unorthodox means to gain position of financial favours blackmailing governors into financing his research firm in return for favorable ratings. After failing to run in Nairobi, Mulwa attempted to get the ticket to run in Machakos but was unsuccessful.
Back in Nairobi, Sakaja rubbished the poll results noting that he is focused on delivering services to the residents of Nairobi. Under the Sakaja administration, the Ksh 1.2 billion school feeding program Dishi Na County has take off as other programs continue to be deployed.
The Nairobi County Government’s efforts to transform the health care sector sits at the helm of the success story of the Governor Johnson Sakaja’s administration one year since the governor assumed office in 2022.
The glittering track record steered by Sakaja’s man on the ground, the Nairobi County Chief Officer for Health Facilities Geoffrey Mosiria has seen the county government milestones in the County health agenda achieved to the benefit of Nairobi county residents.
Governor Sakaja’s commitment to change the outlook of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, the county government’s largest hospital and install first Intensive Care Units and a blood bank is worth the heart of the city while the daily monitoring of hospital operations by Health County Executive Committee member Suzanne Silantoi and the Health Facilities Chief Officer Geoffrey Mosiria has greeted a difference.
The Sakaja administration boosts of a track record of one of the best performing counties in the health sector in the country.
In the last one year, the county government has been able to put up the first ever ICU unit installed in a public hospital at the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital along with a blood bank for timely transfusion. At the Mbagathi District Hospital, the county government installed a working incinerator, a functioning new born unit with newborn babies ICU and a laundry machine installed along with the rehabilitation of washrooms, maternity theater and sanitary facilities.
The Sakaja led government has also seen the Pumwani Maternity Hospital installed with patient lifts and a standby generator. Mosiria was also on the ground to oversee the transformation of City Mortuary which has now been renamed Nairobi Funeral Home. In a bid to give a dignified send off to the departed, the mortuary got six new coolers installed with new cold room doors.
The county government has as well enhanced staff remuneration to boost their working morale. The Highridge Health Center was also a recipient of the health sector transformation with the establishment of cancer a diagnostic center at the facility.
Several other health facilities have also felt the impact of the transformation agenda with the Sinai Memorial Center benefiting from the establishment of a rehabilitation center
The county government under the guidance of Sakaja has also fast-tracked the procurement of health products as well as employing the use of technology in health delivery. The county procured 244 million health commodities which were timely distributed to all health facilities as well as the procurement of laboratory equipment for all health facilities.
To digitize the health sector, Nairobi County procured 223 computers, bio-metric and fingerprint scanners for 94 health facilities for NHIF refunds and self sustainability.
The county government under the leadership of Governor Sakaja has remained intentional on its zeal to continually improve the health systems in the city and ensure that residents of the city county access the best medical attention at he county’s health facilities.
It is not only the health sector has felt the impact of Sakaja’s administration; stalled projects have been revamped an new ones initiated top on the list being a complete make over of the sports and creative sector.
Under the Sakaja administration, Dandora stadium that had stalled in 2019 is now 90 percent complete and set to be opened later this month as the Sakaja Super Cup football tournament kicks off while construction works at the historic Joe Kadenge Stadium (formerly City Stadium) and Woodley grounds have already began. The county government partnered with Hennessy to construct a brand new basketball court at Camp Toyoyo while the creatives have had photography and filming licencing in Nairobi eased allowing youths in content creation make money out of their talents.
For Mulwa to then rank Sakaja and Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti at the bottom of his dubious survey therefore only indicates that the poll was never objective and was only designed to negatively portray his erstwhile competitors who triumphed in gubernatorial races he had his eyes on in 2022, his failure to secure employment in their administrations and setting his campaign propaganda rolling for the next elections.
Kenn Okaka is a Media and Communications Expert.