24 April 2019

Kenya: Mike Sonko Tells Senators His Deputy Is a Non-Issue

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has told senators committee that the appointment of his deputy is a non-issue and that no law compels him to do so.

Appearing before the Senate's Devolution Committee, Mr Sonko said the position is very sensitive and has to consult widely before picking one.

The Nairobi governor said that he has to consult his party leader President Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy party leader Deputy President William Ruto before making any appointment.

He, however, told the committee that he had shown goodwill by picking Kenyan-Canadian lawyer Miguna Miguna but was his nominee was rejected by Nairobi County Assembly.

"I have tried to nominate someone but it was rejected. I have no control over county assembly while playing their oversight role," Mr Sonko said.

"Nairobi govern ship doesn't belong to me but to the party hence I have to consult," Sonko added.

But Mr Miguna did not accept the appointment, viewing it only as a sideshow.

Mr Sonko accused Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja of bringing non-issues before the Senate.

"There was no need for the senator to call senators from recess over this non-issue," Mr Sonko said.

Mr Sonko said he has not refused to pick a deputy governor but is only in a bind following rejection of Mr Miguna.

"The law is silent on what happens when a nominee has been rejected. In fact I need your help as senators," Mr Sonko said.

Mr Sakaja had raised the issue on the floor of the House last month on why Nairobi County has been operating without a deputy governor for 15 months now.

Mr Sonko's deputy Polycarp Igathe tendered his resignation letter on January 12, 2018, saying he had failed to earn the trust of his boss.

Mr Igathe has since moved on and is now the managing director of Equity Bank Kenya. After leaving City Hall, Mr Igathe was tapped by Equity Bank chief executive James Mwangi to head the bank's commercial division.

Kenya

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