What you need to know:
Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi confirmed she is yet to get any communication from Jubilee Party over Ms Mwenda’s nomination.
However, she stated that they have written to the Supreme Court to advise the assembly on the way forward.
The vetting of Governor Mike Sonko’s deputy governor nominee Ann Mwenda now hangs in the balance with the Nairobi Assembly deferring any debate on the nomination.
This comes after Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi said that she will not make any pronouncements on Ms Mwenda’s nomination until she gets direction from the Jubilee Party.
Ms Mwenda is the Nairobi County Disaster Management and Coordination chief officer.
The Speaker said the assembly will debate Ms Mwenda’s nomination during a special sitting of the assembly set for Thursday.
Ms Elachi also said that any possible vetting will await an advisory from the Supreme Court or the Attorney- General on the legality of the said nomination by Governor Sonko.
“I have received the nomination but we need to follow the procedure on how we will reply back. I will only pronounce myself on the deputy governor's position in line with the Jubilee Party and the law once the assembly resumes from recess on February 15,” said Ms Elachi.
She was speaking on Tuesday at the assembly lounge at the end of a kamukunji for all 122 Nairobi MCAs which had been called to discuss the current state of the county government after Governor Sonko was barred from accessing his office last month.
The assembly is on a long recess since December 11, 2019.
The Speaker confirmed she is yet to get any communication from Jubilee Party over Ms Mwenda’s nomination. However, she stated they have written to the Supreme Court to advise the assembly on the way forward.
“We have requested institutions that interpret laws to advise us and we are waiting for the Supreme Court to come back to us on the same. After that, we will be able to answer the question on the legality of the nomination,” she said.
On Monday, Sonko -- in a letter addressed to Speaker Elachi -- said that he had nominated Ms Mwenda in order to ensure stability at the county government. His decision, he said, was informed by the complexity of the situation City Hall finds itself in after his arraignment and the subsequent bail terms that require him to stay out of office until the determination of the case against him.
But this is not the first time a Sonko-deputy governor nominee has faced vetting hurdles. His first nominee, controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna, in June 2018, was rejected by Speaker Elachi for having dual citizenship.
Mr Polycarp Igathe resigned from the position in January 2018 in a huff, citing failure to earn Sonko’s trust.
Ms Mwenda’s nomination has sparked off legal debate on whether Sonko can nominate his deputy since he is barred by the court from performing his duties over graft and abuse of office charges.
Dr Mutakha Kangu, the former chairman of the Task Force on Devolved Government, said that Governor Sonko cannot legally perform any duty, including nominating his deputy.
But Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr says Sonko can discharge his duties as long as he does not step in his office.