City Hall has moved closer to having a deputy governor after Nairobi County Assembly gave the green light for the vetting of the nominee.
In a dramatic special sitting that was punctuated by a shouting match and walk out by the Minority side, the ward reps resolved to have Ms Ann Mwenda’s name forwarded to the Committee on Appointments for consideration.
Ms Mwenda was nominated by Governor Mike Sonko on January 6 but her vetting has been hanging in the balance as questions on the legality of the nomination — Mr Sonko is barred from office over graft allegations — raged on.
However, in Wednesday’s special sitting, Speaker Beatrice Elachi ruled that Ms Mwenda’s name be committed to the Appointments Committee for vetting. “I hereby commit the name of Ann Mwenda to the select committee on Appointments for consideration,” Ms Elachi ruled.
Jubilee MCAs and some of their ODM colleagues vowed to approve the nominee when the Appointments Committee tables its report.
The debate also saw rebel Jubilee ward reps closing ranks with the party, saying “there comes a time when the interest of the party supersedes that of individuals”.
“We will pass the name without fail since we are the majority in the House,” said Mowlem MCA Benson Mwangi.
Deputy Minority Leader, Patrick Musili, added: “Nasa has not walked out. As the deputy leader of the opposition, we are guided by the law and the nomination of the DG is not an illegality.”
However, there were dissenting voices from both sides of the political divide, who termed the process an illegality.
ODM leadership — led by Minority Leader David Mberia and Minority Whip Peter Imwatok — walked out of the special sitting, protesting that the discussion of the matter was sub judice.
“There are two matters before court on the nominee and Standing Order Number 94 does not allow to discuss matters before court,” said Mr Mberia.
On the Jubilee side, Ngara MCA Chege Mwaura poked holes into the suitability of Ms Mwenda.
“The governor’s choice is mediocre and certainly not suitable for where Nairobi needs to be heading to. Speaker Elachi is also flip-flopping on the issue. Two weeks ago, she said the appointment was unprocedural but today she is committing the name to a committee, making the whole assembly to look like a joke,” Mr Mwaura charged.