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Lawyers speak on Sonko’s chance of taking back Nairobi after Kananu ruling

By Mireri Junior | October 23rd 2021

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and acting governor Anne Kananu. [File, Standard]

Top lawyers now say former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko stands no chance of getting back his job should deputy governor Anne Kananu be sworn in as substantive governor.

In an interview with The Standard lawyers, Peter Kaluma and Dunstan Omari said it will be impossible for Sonko to recapture his seat should the swearing-in takes place.

“Nothing will remain of that case once Kananu takes the oath of office as substantive governor,” Kaluma said.

The Homa Bay Town MP said by denying the stay order, the court has confirmed that there is no likelihood of the pending appeal succeeding.

“Orders of stay are given only where an appeal is arguable, the court has confirmed there is no likelihood that the pending appeal will succeed.”

He said the former City boss should be told to withdraw the appeal and call it a day should he fail to stop Kananu’s swearing-in.

Omari, on his part, said the swearing-in of Kananu as governor will end Sonko’s hopes permanently.

He said even if Sonko was to get a favourable ruling in November, the verdict will have nothing to do with Kananu’s job, adding that once sworn in office, a governor can only be removed through impeachment, death or if she or he resigns.

 “Upon her swearing-in, she cannot be removed from office and that is why she might be sworn in on Monday at 9am to forestall any court orders,” he said.

He, however, said that if the court finds that Sonko was impeached illegally, the court will order compensation and allow him to run for office in 2022.


Sonko is, however, still hopeful despite the Court of Appeal dismissing his petition to stop the swearing-in of Kananu as the substantive governor.

In a clip posted on his Facebook page, the confident Sonko told his supporters to keep calm and wait for November when a petition challenging his removal will be heard in the Court of Appeal.

“Keep calm, that is the ruling, but we will be in the Court of Appeal in November and there is still hope,” he said.

He said the court had dismissed their stay application, but the matter is still in the Appellate Court for hearing and determination.

“Our stay application has been dismissed, it is not the end of everything, there is still the Court of Appeal verdict,” said Sonko.

The former governor said as a law-abiding citizen, he respected the court verdict and is now focused on the November hearing.

Kananu's swearing-in

Court of Appeal on Friday cleared the way for Kananu to be sworn after ruling that Sonko has been out of office for over 10 months hence no longer the governor of Nairobi.

A bench of three judges said if Sonko’s appeal is successful and judges find that his political rights were violated, then the violations, since they will be personal to him, can be vindicated by being paid damages.

The judges ruled that his application seeking to bar Kananu from taking the oath of office did not meet the threshold to be granted the order.

Appellate Judges Wanjiru Karanja, Jamila Mohamed and Jessie Lessit ruled the Kanau’s swearing- was not among the grounds raised by Sonko in his appeal.

“We find that the issue of the swearing-in of the 11th respondent was not raised in the High Court and the impugned judgment did not address or determine that issue,” ruled the bench.

Sonko’s had sought stay orders from the Court of Appeal to ensure that Kananu does not assume office until his appeal is heard and determined.

In the November ruling, Sonko wants the Appellate Court to overturn the High Court decision and declare that he was illegally impeached.

Sonko’s troubles started on November 26 last year after a notice for his removal was lodged at the Nairobi County Assembly by Michael Ogada.

Sonko’s impeachment started On December 3 when MCAs convened to impeach Sonko and a resolution for his removal was passed, the Senate confirmed his removal on December 17.

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