City hall reappointments:Embattled Sonko wants court to stop process

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Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko (white) and his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui at Milimani law courts.Photo/file

Impeached Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has moved to court seeking to stop the acting Governor from making illegal appointments at city hall.

Sonko claims that Benson Mutura lacks powers to do so as the acting Governor and is exposing the Nairobi City County Government to massive illegalities.

Through lawyer Harisson Kinyanjui, Sonko wants an order issued prohibiting any execution or further execution of the decision by Mutura as contained in his letter dated 6th January 2021 purporting to appoint, reappoint and dismiss the persons named in the said letter.

“The powers to nominate, appoint or dismiss any person in the County Government are not available in law to the respondent to exercise while in an acting capacity, as stated in Article 1 79(5) of the Constitution of Kenya,” argues the former county boss. 

The former governor argues that as Acting Governor in purporting to exercise the unlimited powers of an elected Governor (when he is not such elected Governor) Mutura has acted in  gross violation of county governments Act, which expressly forbids him from exercising any of the powers of an elected governor.

According to the court papers, barely a few minutes after the acting Governor was purportedly sworn in, he purported to sign warrants for the release of the entire sum of Sh 37.5 Billion as set out in the impugned Nairobi County Appropriation Act, 2020, yet the High Court suspended the said Act, save for the release of recurrent expenditure as contained in an order dated 18th December 2020.

“In the circumstances, it is plain that unless restrained court by way of a conservatory order Mutura will wreak havoc in the governance of Nairobi City County in the acting capacity of a Governor he is occupying”, added. 

Mutura’s letter  “reappoints” Janet Ouko as Nairobi City County CEC, yet she is not available for such “re-appointment” as she was dismissed from being a CEC by Sonko

He also appointed one Paul Mutungi as a chief of Staff, when he has no such powers while simultaneously purporting to appoint one Brian Weke as a Legal Advisor, Office of the Governor.

According to him, all these cited “appointments” are unlawful and in express violation of the County Governments Act, necessitating an urgent issuance of conservatory orders to protect the public interest, and stem the rogue and unlawful actions of Mutura.