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I erred in nominating Miguna, Sonko says as he reveals candidates to replace Igathe

By Josphat Thiong'o | Published Wed, August 22nd 2018 at 11:42, Updated August 22nd 2018 at 11:49 GMT +3
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko when he appeared before the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee on Ruaraka land saga. (File, Standard)

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has now revealed the names of four candidates set to replace Polycarp Igathe as the Deputy Governor.

Speaking at a local radio station Wednesday, Sonko said that he was ready to appoint a deputy to fill the vacuum left by Igathe who resigned in a huff in January.

The City boss revealed that he had now shortlisted four candidates, all of them women. They are business lady Agnes Kagure, Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, Lawyer Karen Nyamu and Jane Weru.

"I am still consulting with my party leadership that is the President, deputy president, Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, Nairobi County leadership as well as other party leaders and I can assure you that I will appoint a deputy soon," stated Sonko.

He also said that his preference was that he appointed a woman to the position for gender equality purposes.

Sonko further explained why he had in May this year appointed exiled Miguna Miguna for the position, saying that he now regretted the decision. He disclosed that the move was as a result of pressure from different quarters within the Jubilee camp and only appointed Miguna to 'annoy' his adversaries who were blackmailing him on who he should appoint as the DG.

He also said that the move was in respect to a Supreme Court advisory ruling that applied to both Nyeri and Nairobi Counties which did not have deputies at the time.

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"I admit that I erred in nominating Miguna without consultation but I did it out of bitterness and anger. This time however I will appoint a deputy after consultations with the party are concluded," said Sonko.

The Governor however expressed reservations on the law dictating that in the event a Governor dies, his or her deputy should automatically take over. He urged members of the senate to review the law and if need be, call for a referendum to ensure that once a Governor passes on, fresh elections are conducted.

He opined that Governors could in future be at risk from their deputies who might connive to kill their bosses using poison or even hit squads in their bid to automatically ascend to power.

"It is bad that even before the body of a deceased Governor gets to the mortuary, his deputy has already mounted his number plate on the County vehicle and is ready to be sworn in. If there is ever a referendum, the senate should consider amending the clause on deputy governors," said Sonko.

He however refuted claims that this was why he was reluctant in appointing someone to deputise him.

"As I have said, I am still consulting but even with that said you know cartels can gang up on me and decide to eliminate me because they prefer someone who they can steal with so I have to be careful," he added.

Governor Mike Sonko had forwarded Miguna Miguna's name on May 18 for vetting and approval by the county assembly.

In the letter, Sonko said that Miguna had met all requirements provided for in the Constitution, the Leadership and Integrity Act, the County Government Act and the Elections Act to deputize him.

Miguna however, dismissed the nomination saying it was a malicious distraction.

A vacancy in the position of Deputy Governor was occasioned by Polycarp Igathe's resignation in January without any clear explanation.

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