Crisis in Jubilee as Polycarp Igathe ditches Sonko

Speculation has been rife on the duo's failing forced marriage

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Uhuru with with Nairobi County Governor-elect Mike Sonko moments before he was declared winner of the 2017 Presidential Election. The county head has become increasingly uncomfortable with State House running things in City Hall. PHOTO: PSCU

On the afternoon of Friday, January 12, Polycarp Igathe resigned as deputy Governor of Nairobi, barely four months after the two took control of Nairobi County government amid speculations that the duo had fallen out.

In a letter addressed to Sonko and seen by Zipo.co.ke, the career manager noted his resignation will be effective 1pm on Wednesday, January 31. He thanked his boss for granting him the opportunity to work as his deputy.

Mike Sonko_Polycarp Igathe
Deputy President William Ruto when he endorsed Vivo MD Polycarp Igathe as Senator Mike Sonko’s running mate in the Nairobi governor race at Jubilee headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi, May 17, 2017. Igathe resigned on Friday. /TWITTER

“Serving Kenyans in Nairobi under your leadership has been an honour and distinct privilege. I am grateful to Nairobians and yourself for giving me the opportunity to serve,” part of the terse letter read.

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But it is his tone in a Twitter post that laid bare his feelings.. “Dear Nairobians, it is with a heavy heart that I resign as elected deputy governor of Nairobi County effective 1pm on 31st Jan 2018. I regret I have failed to earn the trust of the Governor to enable me to drive the administration and management of the county.” Mr Igathe wrote.

In a swift response, City Hall confirmed that Sonko had received Mr Igathe’s notice of resignation adding that a more detailed statement will be released at a later date.

“Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has received a letter of resignation from Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe. The governor is considering the letter and will issue a comprehensive statement later.” The statement said.

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The new Constitution did not consider a scenario where there’s a vacancy in the deputy governor’s office and a proposed bill by Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki and Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen on the matter is yet to be debated by Senate.

Mr Igathe was plucked from Vivo Energy where he was CEO and was largely seen as a balancing force to the inexperienced Sonko who is also thought to be an academic dwarf by many quarters.

Late last year, speculation was rife that the governor was unhappy with his deputy, leading him to release a series of private WhatsApp conversations he had with Mr Igathe to prove all was well. Pundits however noted that Mr Igathe’s responses to his boss’s queries showed a subdued and subservient deputy governor.

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According to an undisclosed source at City Hall, the resignation caught the flamboyant county head and State House by surprise.

“This was a surprise to even me. State House and the governor did not expect this,” the Nation quoted the insider.

It is said that although President Uhuru Kenyatta’s support for Governor Sonko has never been in question, the latter was increasingly feeling managed by State House, way beyond his comfort.