Court to hear Sonko's case against Mwenda tomorrow

Mike Sonko Anne Kananu Mwenda

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko with Ms Anne Kananu Mwenda, whom he nominated on January 6, 2020 as deputy governor, during a past event. 

Photo credit: Courtesy

A case filed by ousted Nairobi governor Mike Sonko seeking to stop city MCAs from vetting of deputy governor nominee Anne Kananu Mwenda will be heard on Thursday.

While rejecting an application to temporarily stop the vetting, Justice Anthony Mrima said he wants to hear from all parties before making a ruling on the matter.  

Ms Mwenda is set to be vetted on January 15, but Sonko says he revoked her nomination a day before he was impeached by MCAs, a move he made in writing to the nominee and also acting governor Benson Mutura. 

Justice Mrima also directed two other cases, filed by Okiya Omtatah and Habib Kongo to be heard together with Sonko's case. 

In a petition filed under certificate of urgency, Mr Sonko argues that the planned vetting and appointment of Ms Mwenda to succeed him is illegal because her nomination was no longer valid. 

"Pending the hearing and determination of this motion, a conservatory order do issue, prohibiting the 3rd respondent, Nairobi County Assembly from vetting and approving as nominee to the post of Nairobi city county deputy governor Anne Kananu Mwenda," he said in the petition. 

Mr Peter Odhiambo Agoro, who had challenged Ms Mwenda's nomination withdrew his case last week, paving way for her vetting and approval.

But Mr Sonko says he cancelled the nomination following alleged pressure with a relative of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He has attached audio clips and transcript of his conversation with the said relative, who was proposing a different nominee.

He said he consequently cancelled the nomination of December 7. 

He complained that the case against Ms Mwenda dragged in court for long thus denying Nairobians their deputy governor.

"It is for these reasons that I formally withdrew the nomination of Ms Anne Kananu Mwenda pending the determination of the said matter and to enable me consult Jubilee leadership and Nairobi county Assembly for a suitable replacement," he said. 

To speed up the hearing, Justice Mrima directed parties to urgently file their submissions ahead of the hearing on Thursday, noting that the County Assembly had indicated it would conduct the vetting on Friday. 

Mr Sonko also sought to stop Mr Mutura from making illegal appointment at city hall arguing that he lacks powers to make any appointments.

This was after Mutura made changes to the cabinet and brought back Education CEC Janet Ouko, whom had been sacked by Sonko. 

Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, Sonko says the letter by Mutura purporting to reappoint Ouko was illegal having been dismissed.

“In the circumstances, it is plain that unless restrained court by way of a conservatory order Mutura will wreak havoc in the governance of Nairobi City County in the acting capacity of a Governor he is occupying,” he added. 

Sonko argues that Mutura violated the County Governments Act, which expressly forbids him from exercising any of the powers of an elected governor.

He said the powers to nominate, appoint or dismiss any person in the County government are not available in law to the acting Governor.

Mr Sonko also faulted the dismissal the Nairobi City County Secretary Justus Kathenge and the simultaneous appointment of Jairus Musimba.


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