Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director-General Mohamed Badi, is currently facing a crisis of gigantic proportions as he tries to steer 4 key functions of the capital without a budget.
Speaking during an impromptu visit to Mukuru kwa Reuben slums on Saturday, May 16, General Badi was quick to point out his unenviable position.
“We have started off with the minimal amount we could get. There is no set budget that has been put forward as yet.
“You know there was a legal tussle in allocating the budget for NMS ” General Badi stated.
The military man appointed by Uhuru to steer the foremost city in the region cut a frustrated figure as he listened to the countless issues of area residents hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the 2019 Economic Survey, five in six wage-earning employees work in the informal sector where the monthly minimum wage for workers categorised as artisans is Ksh17,447, while those under the general labour category earn an average of Ksh12,926 per month.
It is members of this class that vented their frustrations on Badi, urging for emergency intervention.
“Tunashindwa hii chakula inapeanwa iko wapi, tunaoiona tu kwa TV (we wonder where this relief food and essential items are being handed out because up until now, we have only seen it on TV),” a Mukuru resident lamented.
General Badi’s situation is made even worse by the fact that despite recording over 400 confirmed Covid-19 cases, Nairobi, as a county, was yet to set up a single isolation centre due to the budget impasse.
“You know, it’s not an easy job to set up an isolation centre, but we are working hand in hand with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to ensure that their capability is enough to handle any cases that arise in Nairobi,” he stated.
The 2018 Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey reported that an estimated 16.4 million Kenyans live below the poverty line of Ksh5,995 per adult per month.
This implies that they cannot afford to meet their basic food requirements and other daily expenses, a situation worsened by the outbreak.
Four key functions of Nairobi County are now in limbo namely: Health, Transport, Public works, Planning & development
On his part, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, through his spokesperson, Ben Mulwa, maintained that if proper laws and protocols were not adhered to in the formulation of the budget, he would not sign off on it, further adding that he had no problem backing out of the deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta, that led to the creation of NMS as the body tasked with carrying out the functions.