Anne Mwenda now one step closer to becoming Nairobi’s Deputy Governor
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has cleared Governor Mike Sonko’s deputy governor nominee, Anne Mwenda, putting her a step closer to becoming the second deputy governor under Mr Sonko.
The electoral commission cleared the Disaster Management and Coordination Chief Officer for appointment as the deputy governor to replace Polycarp Igathe who resigned from the position more than two years ago.
Nairobi County Returning Officer Dr Joseph Eroo said that the Commission cleared Ms Mwenda on Monday after she presented all the documents needed by the electoral agency.
“She presented everything that was required for clearance including the letter from the appointing authority and everything we had in our checklist,” said Dr Eroo.
Dr Eroo said that the next step for Ms Mwenda is for her name to be presented to Nairobi County Assembly for the process of vetting by the ward representatives.
Ms Mwenda was nominated by Governor Sonko on January 6, 2020 but her vetting has been hanging in the balance over legality of the nomination, by Mr Sonko who is barred from office by court over graft case facing him.
The nomination has faced many hurdles but the clearance now puts her a step closer to assuming the position vacated by Mr Igathe in January, 2018.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) had last month launched investigations into the procedure used to nominate her.
Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji had also contested the nomination saying he will challenge it in court.
However, last month, Speaker of Nairobi County Assembly, Beatrice Elachi, gave the green light for the vetting of Ms Mwenda by having her name committed to the Committee on Appointments for consideration.
“According to our procedures, whenever an appointment by the Governor require approval of the county assembly, the name of the nominee is always submitted to the relevant committee for vetting and reporting. As such, I hereby commit the name of Anne Mwenda to the select committee on Appointments for consideration,” said Ms Elachi.
The Speaker also directed the committee to ascertain whether the nominee meets requirements set by Supreme Court and IEBC in filling a vacancy in the position of the Deputy Governor.
Last week, the High Court declined to issue orders barring the Nairobi County Assembly from vetting Ms Mwenda.
This was after Peter Adhiambo Agoro moved to court to temporarily bar her vetting and also order Governor Sonko not to nominate any other person pending the hearing and determination of the fraud case facing him.
The court directed that an inter-party hearing on the matter take place on February 17, 2020.
OATH OF OFFICE
In guidelines by IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati said that when nominating a Deputy, a Governor must first submit the nominee’s name to the IEBC for vetting.
Upon receiving the name, the Commission shall appoint a returning officer and a deputy to vet the proposed nominee pursuant to the constitution and statutory qualifications.
Thereafter, the Commission shall issue the nominee with a nomination clearance with a copy forwarded to the governor. It is after this that the governor can forward the name of the nominee to the county assembly for vetting, deliberation and possible approval.
Once the nominee has been approved by the county assembly, the speaker shall forward to the Commission in writing the resolution of the assembly with recommendations approving the nominee to the office of the deputy county governor.
The Commission shall consequently publish the appointment of the deputy governor in the Kenya Gazette. The commission shall also notify the Chief Justice who by law is expected to appoint via the Kenya Gazette the Judge or chief magistrate before whom the deputy governor nominee may take his or her oath of office in accordance with the County Governments Act.
Upon gazettment, the speaker of the county assembly shall take necessary steps to facilitate the new Deputy Governor to take the oath of office.