Former Nairobi County Lands and Finance CEC Pauline Kahiga claims she was sacked for refusing to break the law.
Governor Mike Sonko dismissed Kahiga and Winfred Gathangu(Agriculture) on January 30, 2019. Sonko is said to have lost trust with the two CEC Members after claims that they were not “following his orders”.
But in an interview with the Star, Kahiga said she followed the law in every docket she served in Sonko’s cabinet.
“I know I was fired because I refused to approve payments for contractors who were not verified in the pending bills. I know what the law requires and If I appended my signature, I would have committed illegality,” she said.
On January 20, some members of Nairobi County Assembly allied to Sonko stormed the Finance office in a bid to eject Kahiga for failing to settle pending bills for suppliers whose details were not included in the list of eligible suppliers.
However, the communications director in the Office of the Governor, Elkana Jacob, refuted claims Kahiga was sacked because of pending bills.
“This is not the first time his excellency is realigning his cabinet or sending county officials home. If he saw it fit to send a few officials home, he had valid reasons to do so,” he said.
“If she has proof that she was fired because of the pending bills, the relevant bodies are there to investigate.”
Kahiga told the Star that political interference in the payment process due to vested interests was the biggest challenge she encountered. She said trying to fight back cost her job.
“The Finance docket has a lot of interest and that is why every time there is a reshuffle, it is usually affected. There is also pressure from both the legislative and executive side and every side wants their needs put first,” she said.
“I know I did my very best in serving the city residents of Nairobi and it shall be well.”