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Sakaja Says He’ll Divide Nairobi Into Boroughs Like New York If Elected Governor

Nairobi gubernatorial hopeful Johnson Sakaja says that he will divide Nairobi into boroughs just like New York City in the US if he clinches power.

Speaking on Wednesday to Radio Citizen’s breakfast show, Sakaja who is seeking Nairobi’s top seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket said this will be in a bid to decentralise the county’s leadership even further.

 “To bring services closer to the people, I will decentralise Nairobi’s management further. I will create 4 boroughs and appoint city managers for each to deal with the specific needs of every part of the city. Once Nairobi works Kenya works,” he said.

He stated that he will ensure each of the four boroughs namely East, West, North and South will be headed by city managers whom he will personally appoint.

New York City’s five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island are each represented by a borough president.

While Executive functions in the city are the responsibility of the Mayor, legislative functions reside with the New York City Council.

The borough presidents primarily act as spokesmen, advocates, and ceremonial leaders for their boroughs, have budgets and appoint the members of the advisory community boards in the city’s various neighborhoods.

Sakaja at the same time pledged to also ensure that all services offered in City Hall are also offered in the 17 Sub-county offices and online for ease of doing business.

“Nairobi will work if we step down accountability, take delivery one step lower, and ensure availability of resources,” he added.

The Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011 allows county governments to partition their areas and appoint City or Municipal Managers to be in charge of specific areas.

Earlier, the aspiring governor had announced that he will eradicate slums in the city as part of measures to improve living standards of city residents.

Citing Rwanda as inspiration, Sakaja said it’s possible to do away with slums and erect high rise buildings instead.

“I don’t believe in slum upgrading because there is no better slum. I believe in slum eradication through the silo system, like what Kagame has done” he said in an interview with Capital FM.

He added: “We get the first phase of high rise buildings and move them, and where we have moved peoplewe seal it so that no other mabatis come up,” he said.

Sakaja unveiled Absa Bank Kenya Ltd Chief Operating Officer James Njoroge Muchiri as his running mate last month, and will be facing off with Jubilee Party’s Polycarp Igathe.

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