What you need to know:
- Justice Ngugi held that governors should step aside once charged with criminal offences and their roles taken over by their deputies for the duration of the trial
- Mr Oparanya said the CoG would be seeking guidance from the Attorney-General or the Supreme Court
Governors are planning to move to court to have their colleagues who are facing various criminal charges allowed to continue serving until their cases are heard and determined.
The Council of Governors has said it will challenge a ruling that requires them to step aside once charged with crimes.
In a sign of growing discontent over the ruling by Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi that locked Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu from his office on July 24, 2019, the CoG wants the decision overturned.
Speaking in Nairobi on Monday, CoG chair and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya announced the move, saying it had adversely affected operations in three counties.
“As a matter of common interest, the county governments will urgently move to court over the ruling as has been witnessed in the cases of Kiambu, Samburu and Nairobi counties,” he said.
In the ruling, Justice Ngugi held that governors, just like other civil servants, should step aside once charged with criminal offences and their roles taken over by their deputies for the duration of the trial.
The ruling has elicited controversy in legal and political circles, with some experts taking the view that she overstepped her mandate.
Mr Oparanya said the CoG would be seeking guidance from the Attorney-General or the Supreme Court.
He termed the impasse in Nairobi caused by the arrest and arraignment of Governor Mike Sonko a unique case.
“Nairobi County is a unique case. We will be seeking an interpretation on the ruling from the AG or even possibly move to the Supreme Court,” said the governor.
Last week, the governor and a host of county officials were charged over irregular payments amounting to Sh357 million.
With his arraignment, governance in the city county, which is also the country’s capital, has been thrown into a spin because he does not have a deputy.
Sonko has governed Nairobi on his own since the resignation of Mr Polycarp Igathe on January 12, 2018, with a few publicised but half-hearted attempts to appoint an assistant.