The sports category has moved to a new website.

Sifuna, Sakaja exchange words in Senate grilling session [Video]

During the session, there were several instances where Governor Sakaja exchanged words with Senator Sifuna.

A collage of Senator Edwin Sifuna and Governor Johnson Sakaja
  • Overview of Governor Sakaja's Senate appearance and exchanges with Senators
  • Imposition of fines for skipping summons and Sakaja's defense
  • Details on Nairobi's regeneration plans, contracts, and documentation issues

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja was hard pressed to answers questions on the the renovation of 13 estates across the city during a grilling session with the Senate Committee on Housing.

During the session there was tension as Sakaja exchanged words with Senators like Edwin Sifuna, Karungo wa Thangwa and Enoch Wambua.

The governor had appeared before Senate Standing Committee on Roads, Transportation and Housing to respond to an inquiry into the urban regeneration and renewal programme of old estates in Nairobi County.


Governor Sakaja honoured the summons after severally failing to appear before the committee to respond to issues in relations to urban regeneration and renewal programme of old estates.

While responding to the committee, Governor Sakaja said that on the three occasions that he failed to appear before the committee, he was out of the country on official duties and he provided the committee with travelling documents to prove his assertion.

“We imposed a fine of Sh500,000 when you failed to honour the two invites and a summon, contrary to section 19 of Powers and Privileges Act, I am happy to report the receipt of a banker’s cheque to that effect,” said Senator Karungo wa Thangwa.


Kitui Senator, Enoch Wambua said that failure to appear before the committee by the Nairobi governor contempt of the Senate.

He further added that the senators who became governors were the most notorious, he wondered what had happened to former legislators who turned to be the county chiefs.

“It is not fair to tell this honourable committee that you had travelled out of the country on official duty but you cannot prioritized the work of the Senate where you sat as a senator some years ago. We need to enhance the fine in the Powers and Privilege Act which undergoing amendments,” Senator Sifuna implored the Governor.

Governor Sakaja told the committee that when he was the Senator for Nairobi, he was rated as the best performing senator by Mzalendo Trust, therefore he knows the place of the senate in devolution and respects the Parliamentary committees whereby he served as the chairman for 10 straight years.


On the issue of Nairobi urban regeneration and renewal programme of old estates, the governor said that the County Government of Nairobi was not in possession or privy to any agreement between the Israel Government and the Government of Kenya for construction of the estates through a Tenant Purchase Scheme.

This has been an allegation by the tenants of Jericho Estate who purport that the houses were to belong to them after 25 years of tenancy. They have not availed the said agreement.

“Nairobi City County Government has earmarked all estates for redevelopment to provide additional housing for rental purpose and home ownership. This is in line with the Government’s affordable housing agenda,” said the governor.

In addition, Sakaja said that the original plans for the estates were for the development of the social housing to cater for the low income earners.


However, the new proposed redevelopment comprises 70% affordable housing for low income earners and 30% for high income earners due to shortfall experienced in the high and middle income bracket as well.

Governor Sakaja also revealed that the County Government of Nairobi has awarded seven contracts for regeneration and renewal of old estates, however the titles deeds of the estates estimated to be 4,000 acres are still under processing.

He added that the City County is not giving free houses but the rent paid since occupation of the housing units will be used to get the tenants houses.

“All concerns should be dispensed with before the regeneration projects are launched,” said Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna.


The governor was given two weeks to furnish the committee with statement of rent collected by the County Government of Nairobi since 1985 for Ofafa Jericho, 1988 for Jericho Lumumba and 1990 for Ofafa Maringo Estates.

During the session, there were several instances where Sakaja exchanged words with the senators.

In one instance, Sakaja got into a heated argument with Edwin Sifuna over house procedures, with the governor asserting that as a former senator he was conversant with the standing orders.

Sifuna, being a lawyer also stood his ground, telling off the governor that he should not teach them the laws.


In another instance, Sakaja was pressed to answer whether the county had sent documents regarding the urban regeneration programme in Jericho. Despite the county boss insisting that the documents were sent, the clerk confirmed he did not receive them.

Sakaja alleged that he was not to blame for technical mishaps in the Senate. However he was tasked to resend the original email, which would show the email thread.

The governor's decision to share the document's through WhatsApp did not sit well with the committee, with the chair citing that the documents should be sent procedurally and processed according to the rules of the house.

He also added that the question was not the accessibility of the documents, but whether the county sent them in July 2023, as it had claimed.


To add to the trouble, Sifuna asked the committee to compel Sakaja to produce the documents in physical copies


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: