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Query on Sonko nominee

Wednesday February 12 2020

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The clearance by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission of suspended Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s nominee for his deputy means he could have his way soon. According to the IEBC returning officer, Anne Kananu Mwenda presented all the documents required to be get the nod.

There is nothing wrong with that. Ms Mwenda, or anybody else who is eligible, could have been picked for this vital position.

The city county has, for over two years, been denied this constitutionally mandated position. The framers of the Constitution deemed it fit to have a principal assistant to the governor, but Sonko, for whatever reason, did not appear keen to fill the position.

However, after being charged over a Sh357 million procurement fraud, Sonko now wants to fill the position. Again, that would have been perfectly fine. The only problem is, the High Court barred him from office, a ruling that was endorsed by the Court of Appeal. But this has drawn mixed interpretations with some arguing that he is only barred from the physical location.

This is hardly plausible. The governor has been suspended from office over serious allegations. It would be morally untenable of him to continue to exercise key responsibilities such as filling the office of deputy governor. But last week, the High Court declined to bar the city county assembly from vetting Ms Mwenda.

The office should be filled but without blemish. It is for this reason that we feel that the destiny of the county in charge of the capital should not be left to whims of one person. The ruling Jubilee Party, as the ticket sponsor, certainly has a role to play here.