The Council of Governor has welcomed the decision by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to nominate a Deputy Governor.
Council Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya, Wednesday, said Sonko acted within his mandate to do so and further urged the County Assembly of Nairobi to process the nominee in accordance with the law.
The Council of Governors wishes to acknowledge the nomination of a Deputy Governor by H.E Mike Mbuvi Sonko in line with Article 180(5) which provides that, “a county Governor shall nominate a person who is qualified for nomination for election as County Governor as a candidate for Deputy Governor”, CoG outlined.
The Council Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya said the governors were pleased by Sonko’s decision, which they believe will help solve the leadership crisis in the country’s capital.
“We are glad that Governor Sonko has exercised his constitutional mandate as the head of Nairobi County to nominate a Deputy Governor who will assist him to discharge his duties,” he stated.
Sonko who has been charged with fraudulent acquisition of public property through questionable tendering Monday nominated Ann Kanunu as his deputy amid uncertainty over a leadership vacuum at the City Hall.
Sonko’s nominee is currently serving as the Chief Officer in charge of disaster management in the county.
The embattled county chief has been reluctant to name an assistance since Polycarp Igathe’s resignation in January 2018, just months after the pair described as a dynamic duo won the August 8, 2017 Nairobi gubernatorial contest.
Sonko in a letter to the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker on Monday said the decision to appoint a deputy governor is in order to ensure stability at the county government, adding that the appointment is based on the advisory given by the Supreme Court in March 2018.
Sonko explained that his bail terms require him to stay out of office, hence he found it necessary to nominate a deputy to ensure that Nairobi residents are guaranteed uninterrupted services.
“Given the foregoing, and in the interest of ensuring stability at Kenya’s capital city and largest county by economy and population. I do hereby nominate Anne Kananu Mwenda to the position of deputy governor,” stated Sonko.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji however dismissed Sonko’s nomination saying he acted in violation of his bail terms. He termed the executive decision by the county chief as null and void.
“The court was clear on what Sonko cannot do. The purport to have power to name a deputy while his case is still on is a violation of his bail terms given to him. We will move to court,” Haji stated after Sonko made the nomination.
Sonko’s lawyer Cecil Miller however faulted the DPP, saying Sonko did not in any way violate his bail terms by nominating a deputy.
Miller argued that the bail terms do not amount to removal from office of the Governor of Nairobi, and that the anti-corruption court in Nairobi did not bar Sonko from exercising the constitutional and statutory functions of his office.
He further said that the nomination of a deputy governor does not in any way undermine the ongoing prosecution against Sonko.
“The bail terms did not remove the Governor from office but merely prevented him from accessing his physical office and from communicating or approaching the intended witnesses,” Miller stated.