21 May 2018

Kenya: Intrigues Behind Search for Nairobi County Deputy Governor

Nairobi residents will wait longer before getting a new deputy governor, with intrigues and circus surrounding the search for the holder of the vacant seat seemingly unending.

The nomination of fiery lawyer Miguna Miguna to the position by Governor Mike Sonko has birthed more debate, confusion and raised more questions than answers.

While Mr Sonko maintains that it will be Mr Miguna or no one else to fill the slot left vacant by Polycarp Igathe, there is mounting pressure on the embattled City Hall boss to drop the name.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale called for Mr Sonko to drop the name of Mr Miguna, and consult President Uhuru Kenyatta on Jubilee's choice for the position, which must be filled by a person discussed and agreed upon by the party's leadership.

Jubilee Vice-Chairman David Murathe dismissed Mr Miguna's the nomination, saying the governor was only buying time over a supposedly impending impeachment.

PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATES

The governor has for the umpteenth time complained that there is a certain government official who wants to impose on him a possible candidate for the seat.

According to sources, the governor, upon the exit of Mr Igathe had drawn up a list of prospective candidates, all women, who he wanted to pick to deputise him.

This was after the Supreme Court gave governors the green light to pick their deputies should a vacancy arise.

Among the candidates were Ms Karen Nyamu, former Starehe MP Margret Wanjiru, Ms Agnes Kagure and former Nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro. Mr Sonko had drafted the list and shared it among a few friends, and promised to consult both the President and his deputy.

When he appeared on a local FM station last month, the governor was categorical that Mr Igathe's replacement would be a lady.

CONSULTATIONS

Nairobi Assembly Majority Chief Whip Chege Mwaura said the governor had told them he needed to consult to get the right person, who would be acceptable across the board, and that the choice of Mr Miguna would not have been the one agreed on during the consultations.

"He had actually told us he needed to consult and take time to go through the process," he said.

But last Wednesday, Mr Sonko left many in shock when he nominated Mr Miguna to deputise him. This, according to a source who requested for anonymity, was done purposely by Mr Sonko to send a clear message to those trying to control him that 'it will not be business as usual if push comes to shove'.

"The fact that Mr Sonko opted for Mr Miguna, who is in Canada, is a sign that all is not well between the governor and some powerful forces, both in the party and national government," said the source.

POWERFUL FORCES

Whereas Mr Mwaura opined that the process has dragged because of political balancing, consultation, appointment of chief officers and getting it right this time round, others argue that Mr Sonko has become a target of attack from some powerful forces from Mt Kenya region who want him out of city hall.

On Thursday, Jubilee Vice chairman David Murathe dismissed Mr Miguna's nomination saying that the governor had forestalled his impeachment.

It is believed the decision to opt for Miguna was the governor's way of reacting to his 'tormentors' in the national government.

SUPPORT

"Sonko knows he can't work with (Mr) Miguna and that the nomination was dead on arrival," said Jared Akama, an ODM MCA.

MCA Mwaura insisted that Mr Miguna is a source of stability. "We have consulted amongst ourselves as the members of the vetting committee and we believe that Mr Miguna cannot be the person to help the governor deliver in Nairobi," he said.

On Saturday during a meeting with members of Nairobi Liaison Committee at Flamingo Beach Hotel in Mombasa, Speaker Beatrice Elachi has called for a truce between the governor and the national government, saying that he needs to be supported.

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