Nairobi County Government has announced that it will vet Anne Kananu Mwenda for the position of Deputy Governor after a petition filed against her nomination in court was withdrawn.
Kananu was nominated by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko before he was impeached in December 2020. Peter Agoro, who had petitioned a Nairobi court in January 2020 to stop Kananu's assumption to office withdrew his petition on Monday, January 4, 2021.
The Clerk of the County Assembly through a notice published on Thursday, January 7, said that they will vet Kananu on Friday, January 15. If vetted and approved, she might be the next Governor of Nairobi
"Notice is hereby given of approval hearing to be undertaken by the County Assembly's Select Committee on Appointments, on January 15, in the County Assembly Plenary Chamber starting 9 am," Edward Gichana, the Clerk said.
Anne Kananu and former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during a past event
Kananu was required to collect the vetting forms from the Office of the Clerk during official working hours as from January 8 and return them together with copies of relevant documents by January 11.
Among the documents are compliance certificates from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), a clearance certificate from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), and a good conduct certificate from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
This process has set the stage for a confrontation between the county government and parties interested in succeeding Sonko through the by-election slated for February 18.
The court, however, issued orders stopping the by-elections from taking place until a case filed by Sonko challenging his impeachment was heard. Sonko accused Jubilee politicians of orchestrating his impeachment motion.
The former governor is reportedly seeking to block Kananu's vetting process, arguing that he revoked her nomination in 2020.
A number of leaders have spoken out against the vetting of Kananu, which if it goes through, will make the by-election unnecessary.
"I am shocked. I rarely engage in some issues, but this is going to set a terrible precedent. At the time Sonko was impeached there was no Deputy Governor. All pending actions by Sonko/Kananu should collapse," former Kiambu Governor William Kabigo tweeted.
"This is constitutionally, legally and morally wrong. You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand that this is illegal. Meanwhile, we are being lectured about the spirit of the constitution (referring to the Building Bridges Initiative and handshake)," Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen added via his social media pages.
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko.
BBI task force member and former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru and city politician Anne Kagure are seeking to replace Sonko on a Jubilee party ticket. Former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru, exiled lawyer Miguna Miguna and former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu are also interested in the seat.
The resignation of former Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe was also brought back into the limelight after a Nairobi MCA filed a suit seeking clarity on Igathe's position. The lawmaker argued that Igathe never resigned from office and is supposed to succeed Sonko as Governor.
On Tuesday, January 5, Thirdway Alliance Secretary General Fred Okang'o claimed that there was a plot to permanently halt the elections.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on December 19, 2020, lawyer Nelson Havi said that he was ready to oppose any plans to halt the by-elections and also called for the abolishment of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services under General Mohamed Badi.