He was seen as the most powerful in Governor Mike Sonko’s cabinet, at one time managing three dockets at ago, then in one fell swoop, he was out, unceremoniously axed in reactionary response to the murder of school children at Precious Talent Academy.
That’s what has befallen Charles Kerich, a former newspaper editor with the Star Newspaper whose appointment in Mike Sonko’s cabinet had been successfully lobbied by Deputy President William Ruto. At the time of his suspension, he was, perhaps, the longest serving Sonko cabinet member, serving as the CEC of Finance and Economic Planning.
Previously, he had served as CEC Lands and Physical Planning.
Sonko’s leadership style, erratic as it is, has seen improvements in service delivery at city hall, one of the most corrupt public sector offices in the country, with a history of official sleaze and malfeasance that dates back to the very beginning of time.
He has also managed to dismantle one group of cartels, if only to create another in his own image and likeness.
The suspensions, sometimes, are just for public gimmick, as Sonko re-hires the same people he has suspended, regardless of the recommendations of the investigations he institutes against them.
Kerich had surprisingly risen in Sonko’s officialdom, at one time seen as the “acting governor” as Sonko increasingly battled political ghosts, real and imagined, many in the national government. Nairobi County has ‘functioned’ without a Deputy Governor for over a year now.
Sonko accused Kerich and those directly under him of approving substandard buildings after bribery by private developers. Others he suspended were:
Mohammed Dagane – CECM Health (responsible for general public health and safety);
Justus Kathenge, suspended County Chief Officer for Urban Planning (to continue in suspension);
Jusper Ndeke, Director Planning Compliance and Enforcement;
Dominic Mutegi, Development Management Director;
Ochanda Ondari Fredrick, Assistant Director Enforcement;
Ruth Waruguru, Director Urban Planning;
Thomas Dudi, Assistant Director Planning;
Simon Onyango, Development Officer (regularization of buildings/approval of architectural plans);
Alex Mucheru, Development Control (overseeing approvals of buildings and schools on behalf of public safety and health);
Mackline Saitera, Development Control (approval of building plans and school inspection)
Edna Guantai, In-charge of approval of public buildings and schools on behalf of public health
Joyce Kyengo, Dagoretti South Sub-County Administrator
Lucy Wairimu Munyika, Dagoretti South Sub-County Commander.
Sylivia Mwikali Nthinga, Dagoretti South Sub-County Planning Officer
Okal Kennedy, Ngando Ward Administrator.
Sonko meanwhile appointed Pauline Kahiga as the acting CEC for Finance and Economic Planning and Veska Kangogo as the acting CEC for Health.