Ann Kananu set to be sworn as Nairobi governor


Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu during her swearing-in ceremony at KICC grounds Nairobi in December 2021. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Ann Kananu Mwenda is set to join the list of female governors in the country after she is sworn in as the third Governor of Nairobi county.

Reliable sources in her office told The Standard the swearing-in is expected to take place anytime from tomorrow after former Governor Mike Sonko lost the legal battle to retain the seat and keep Kananu away from succeeding him following his impeachment last year.

The county has been running without a substantive for more than ten months.

Sonko was impeached following accusations of gross violation of the Constitution, abuse of office, and gross misconduct.

Ms Kananu who was nominated by Sonko early last year to be his deputy was among the candidates lined up to take the seat after the resignation of Polycarp Igathe.

But following his impeachment, the former governor moved to court seeking orders to bar Kananu from being sworn in as the Nairobi Governor.

Sonko wanted the Court of Appeal to order status quo until the matter is heard and determined.

He argued that if Kananu is sworn in as governor his appeal would be rendered useless.

Sonko wanted the court to declare that his impeachment was improper.

On July 6, the appellate court stopped the swearing-in of Kananu as the substantive governor.

Appellate Judges Wanjiru Karanja, Jessie Lessit, and Justice Jamila Mohammed ruled that pending determination of an appeal arising from the High Court judgment Kananu should not be sworn in as the Governor of Nairobi.

But the former governor suffered a major blow last week when the same Judges dismissed his application of stopping Kananu from being sworn in.

The Appellate court found that Sonko’s appeal was against the High Court decision which dismissed his application challenging his impeachment and had nothing to do with Kananu being sworn in.

The judges ruled that 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.

They declared that the former governor's application did not meet the threshold to be granted the order and that the issue of swearing-in Kananu was not among the grounds raised in his appeal.

Kananu who has in the past maintained that she will support and work with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Mohammed Badi, will not handle crucial functions of health, transport, public works, and planning following the Deed of Transfer from the Nairobi county government to the national government last year.

Political Risk Analyst Dismus Mokua said that although it’s a relief that the county will now have a substantive governor, there will be no major changes.

“There is nothing to look forward to even after she assumes office. She will be no more than a ceremonial governor because NMS under Badi is doing everything and we can see the results that have on various occasions praised by the president,” he said.

Ishmael Nyaribo an advocate said it is time to give Kananu a chance so that she can get the ground running and deliver to the people of Nairobi.

“The least we talk about Sonko and his legacy the better because now we will have a new governor. Let us give her a chance there will be a big difference because she will be working hand in hand with NMS and the difference now will be bigger,” he said

On whether the management of Nairobi should be separated from NMS Nyaribo said all that lies with the will of the people.

“What do the people want? How do they want to be managed? They are the ones to decide and this is what the head of state did. He listened to the cries of the people and decided to broker the deal,” he said