Nairobi Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi has sent back the name of Anne Mwenda to Governor Mike Sonko, saying he did not follow the procedure in nominating her as his deputy.
This is even as the Supreme Court is set to give direction on the legality of the nomination of Ms Mwenda as from February 6.
Speaking to The Standard, Ms Elachi said Sonko did not follow the guidelines put in place by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in nominating Mwenda.
“I have sent the name back to the governor to ensure that the correct procedure is followed. I did not want to go ahead with the vetting and then be told that we did not follow procedure,” she said.
Mwenda, who is the Nairobi City County chief officer for disaster management and coordination, was nominated by Sonko as his deputy on January 6. Her name was consequently forwarded to City Hall through the speaker for vetting in line with a Supreme Court advisory of 2018.
Speaker Elachi, however, intimated that she sought advice from IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, who informed her of the guidelines that were developed by the commission soon after the Supreme Court’s advisory.
The guidelines were communicated to governors through their council on June 2018. One of the requirements is that when nominating a deputy, a governor must first submit the nominee’s name to IEBC for vetting.
Once the name is received by the commission, it shall appoint a returning officer mandated to vet the nominee in line with the Constitution.
According to Chebukati, through the document, the deputy governor’s position is political and, therefore, anyone occupying the position must go through the set out verification process.
This includes abiding by the qualifications as stipulated in the Leadership and Integrity chapter of the Constitution.
“... it logically follows that such nominee must satisfy the Constitutional and statutory qualifications attendant to that office as contained in the Constitution and the Elections Act, 2011,” Chebukati said.
The rules stipulate that once the nominee for deputy governor is cleared, the commission provides her with a nomination clearance, and a copy of the same is forwarded to the governor.
Once the governor receives the nomination, he/she shall then forward the nominee’s name to the county assembly for vetting, deliberation and possible approval.
Once 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.
After the gazettement, the speaker shall take necessary steps to facilitate the new deputy governor to take the oath of office.
Nairobi City County has been without a deputy governor for the past two years.
Elachi’s move to send back the name of Mwenda will further add to the crisis in the capital following the prosecution of Sonko.