Court stops swearing in of Nairobi Deputy Governor Anne Kananu as county boss

Anne Kananu is sworn in as Nairobi Deputy Governor on January 15, 2021 at KICC grounds/ COURTESY

The courts have stopped the swearing in of Nairobi Deputy Governor Anne Kananu as the county boss pending the hearing and determination of a case lodge by the Law Society of Kenya.

The LSK sued on Monday seeking to block the possible swearing-in of Kananu as governor after she took over as acting county boss from Speaker Benson Mutura.

LSK argues that the hurried swearing-in of Kananu to the office is illegal and a brazen attempt to undermine the by-election as required by the Constitution.

Kananu on Monday morning took over as Nairobi acting Governor three days after she was sworn in as deputy governor.

The governor seat fell vacant after Mike Mbuvi Sonko was impeached in December.

Mutura said since Nairobi now has a substantive Deputy Governor in office he has relinquished his acting Governor capacity and to resume his full duties as Speaker.

On January 15, Appointments Committee led by Majority leader Abdi Guyo vetted and approved Kananu, saying she had fulfilled all requirements for the job.

She was hurriedly sworn in as Deputy Speaker moments later at KICC grounds.

Some constitutional lawyers have argued that it is impossible to instal Kananu as governor.

Lawyer Bobby Mkangi, for instance, says the by-election is unstoppable as the law would only recognise Kakanu if she was a substantive deputy governor at the time of Sonko’s removal.

“We should ask ourselves: at the time of his [Sonko’s] ouster was there a substantive deputy governor in place? The answer is ‘No’. If a substantive DG and not a nominee were in place, then we would not have triggered the election route, he or she should have taken over,” Mkangi, who was a member of the Committee of Experts, told a local daily.

“We cannot retrospectively go back and try to effect events that we even don’t know how they would have ended up because there was a pending vetting,” he added.

Lawyer Kibe Mungai says the nomination of a deputy governor and the eventual takeover of the office is a process .

“Since the nomination is a process, the matter is finalised with the appointment of the nominee. This appointment would be done by the governor, in this case Sonko. In other words, the nomination process crystallises with the appointment,” he says.

Lawyer Demas Kiprono argues that with the court cases, there is a possibility for one to go to court and seek for the extension of Acting Governor’s tenure in office, which is meant to end on February 21.

‘The constitutional days are settled storm . But with the realities with what is happening in court, one can file a petition to have the period extended,” he said.

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