Court stops Kananu’s swearing-in as Nairobi Governor

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High court has issued orders stopping the intended swearing-in of Nairobi Deputy Governor Anne Kananu Mwenda as the Governor.

Justice Antony Mrima issued the conservatory orders pending the hearing and determination of a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). 

“That pending the hearing and determination of this application inter-parties, a temporary injunction is hereby issued restraining the Respondents(Nairobi city county Assembly, speaker and the deputy governor, Attorney General and the Government Printer), their agents and or servants from swearing in Anne Kananu Mwenda as the Governor of Nairobi City County Government,” ordered the Judge.

LSK filed a certificate of urgency seeking to stop the swearing-in on grounds that the quick vetting, approval by the Nairobi county Assembly and swearing in as a Deputy Governor in quick succession on Friday was without regard to the constitution and law and is a calculated political move to avoid a by-election in Nairobi.    

The society also wants the court to issue a conservatory order suspending the decision of the respondents of 15th January 2021 to swear into office Kananu as the Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County Government. 

They argue that the actions of the state undermines the right of the people of Nairobi to elect a Governor and Deputy Governor of their choice and also sets a dangerous precedent in the application of the rule of law. 

The body is apprehensive that because there is a vacancy in the office of the Governor, the respondents are likely to proceed to commit further acts of illegalities by swearing in Kananu as the Governor of Nairobi City County who will in turn nominate yet another person for appointment as Deputy Governor.

“This swearing in is problematic, unconstitutional and a brazen attempt to undermine the process of a by-election as anticipated in Article 182(5) of the Constitution of Kenya,” argues LSK.

According to LSK, the Speaker of the County Assembly who acts as Governor under Article 182(4) of the Constitution does not have constitutional or statutory powers to appoint a Deputy Governor under section 32(D) of the County Governments Act 2012 as it creates fundamental legal problems and absurdities to posit otherwise.

The office of the Governor of Nairobi became vacant after the impeachment of Mike Mbuvi