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Sonko’s pick for deputy to wait longer as legality queries emerge

COLLINS OMULOBy COLLINS OMULO
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Nairobi County deputy governor nominee Ann Mwenda will know her fate on the legality of her nomination before the end of this month.

This comes after Nairobi MCAs pushed her vetting to next month to give room for the resolution of questions regarding the legality of her nomination.

Wednesday, Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi said they expect to get a response in two weeks’ time from the Supreme Court over an advisory they had requested in regards to the legality of the nomination done by Governor Mike Sonko.

“We are expecting to get the advisory opinion by the end of this week or next week. This situation is unique, hence it is important that we wait for the way forward,” said Ms Elachi.

Ms Mwenda was nominated on January 6, 2020 in order to ensure stability at the county government informed by the complexity of the situation City Hall finds itself after Mr Sonko being charged in court.

This was after the City Hall boss was barred from office by the court last year December until the determination of the graft case facing him.

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It is in light of this that Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji dismissed the nomination of Ms Mwenda terming it illegal and against bail terms which barred Mr Sonko from executing his duty as a governor until the determination of the corruption case facing him.

The speaker pointed out that the opinion from the Supreme Court will give direction and determine what happens next considering a lacuna in the law on what is currently facing Nairobi.

Ms Elachi said that although the apex court had given an advisory on nomination of a deputy governor in March last year, she is not sure if the same can apply given the unique state of Nairobi County, where the nomination was done by a governor barred from office.

She said that is why she ruled that the debate on the deputy governor’s nominee will only happen once the assembly gets the advisory opinion.

“There is no point in introducing a nominee’s name, we debate and pass it then later we are caught up on the wrong side of the law. The Constitution does not indicate what needs to be done when a county faces a crisis such as the one Nairobi is facing,” she said.

Once the assembly receives the advisory, it will then proceed to debate the nomination of the Disaster Management Chief Officer and can choose to either approve or reject her. The assembly has been on a long recess since December 11, 2019 and will resume its sittings next month on February 11, 2020.

Last week, Ms Elachi said she will not make any pronouncement on the nominee until she gets direction from the Jubilee Party and any possible vetting will await advisory from the Supreme Court or the Attorney General.