Courts issue final ruling on Anne Kananu's appointment to City Hall

Sonko had moved to court challenging the appointment

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and acting Nairobi Governor Anne Mwenda Kananu

The High Court on Thursday delivered its final ruling on the validity of Anne Mwenda Kananu's appointment as the Nairobi County Deputy Governor.

A three judge bench comprising Justices Said Chitembwe, Wilfrida Okwany and Weldon Korir ruled that the nomination, vetting and swearing in of Ms Kananu was all conducted procedurally.

In delivering its ruling, the bench noted that former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko nominated Ms Kananu voluntarily, adding that his mandate ended there.

The former governor had moved to court on the matter claiming that Kananu's appointment was done contrary to the law.

Seeking to have the court overturn her swearing-in, Sonko further claimed that he had revoked his appointment of Ms Kananu in December 2020.

Justice Okwany, however, noted that the court had established that Ms Kananu's appointment was still in effect when Sonko was impeached.

Former Governor Sonko had also claimed that Nairobi Speaker Benson Mutura who was acting Governor during Kananu's vetting and swearing-in had no jurisdiction to conduct the process.

On this claim, the court noted that even though the Constitution does not confer DG appointment powers to an acting Governor, Speaker Muturi did not err in facilitating the process.

"The speaker was allowed by law to bring that process of Kananu's nomination to fruition. Although a speaker acting as governor has no power to appoint a DG, this case was different because there was already a nominated DG in place," Justice Okwany stated.

Why Sonko picked Kananu

In a past statement, the former Governor had outlined reasons why he had settled on Ms Kananu to deputize him.

In his statement to newsrooms, the former Governor cited bail terms he was given when he was released from custody last month as well as keeping the interest of the county first.

"The complexity of the situation in Nairobi became more intricate following my arraignment in court in December 2019, and the subsequent bail terms that, among other things, require me, as Governor, to stay out of office until the determination of the matter.

"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," the Governor's statement.

Governor Sonko had previously set a few conditions for his would-be deputy governor pick including that the nominee had to be female.

While appearing before the Senate, Governor Sonko had remained adamant that he would not pick a deputy unless a law was set to guide on how the process should be undertaken.

The Supreme Court advisory was just that, an advisory, it was not a decree or a ruling, so it is not binding. There is no law compelling me or giving me a timeline for naming a deputy governor.”

You are asking me which steps am taking to have a DG, I will not take any steps and I will not tell you of any steps until you have made a law compelling me to do so. If the Senate and Parliament in general make such a law, I swear I will comply,” Sonko had stated.

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