Kenya: Kananu Vetting Circus Continues As Thirdway Alliance Runs to Court

14 January 2021

The circus surrounding the vetting of Anne Kananu Mwenda as Nairobi deputy governor has taken yet another twist with Thirdway Alliance going to court in a fresh bid to stop the exercise.

This, even as Nairobi County Assembly Appointments Committee is continuing with plans for the vetting set for Friday.

In the petition, Thirdway Alliance wants the court to issue conservatory orders restraining the assembly from vetting Ms Mwenda pending the hearing and determination of their petition.

"The move to proceed with the vetting of Kananu is aimed at ensuring that the by-election slated for February 18, 2021 does not take place so that she can subsequently and through the backdoor be sworn in to take up the role of the Governor of Nairobi County," read the petition in part.

"An order of injunction should be issued to Anne Kananu to restrain her from participating in her vetting, approval or in any other manner proceeding with the process whose end result would be to have her sworn in as the deputy governor or substantive Governor of Nairobi County," added the petition.

Under a certificate of urgency, the party's chairperson and acting party leader Miruru Waweru and deputy party leader Angella Mwikali claimed that the assembly has an ulterior motive in proceeding with the vetting with the aim of usurping the sovereign power of Nairobi residents to elect their governor.

The petition argues that allowing the exercise to proceed is aimed at ensuring that the Nairobi Disaster Management Chief Officer takes over as governor through the backdoor.

The party has put forward controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna as its flag bearer in the February 18, 2021 by-election with Ms Mwikali as his running mate.

Mr Waweru and Ms Mwikali go on to ask the court to declare that a vacancy occurred in the office of the Governor and that of the deputy governor as a consequence of Mr Sonko's ouster and therefore, the speaker of the county assembly should act for 60 days until a newly elected governor assumes office following a by-election in accordance with the law.

To support their stance, the duo argues that at the date of the ouster of former Governor Mike Sonko, there was no deputy governor in office capable of assuming the role of the governor for the remainder of the term and as such the vetting and subsequent approval and swearing in of Ms Mwenda by the Assembly would be unconstitutional, illegal, and null and void.

"This petition questions the ulterior motives of the assembly as the political class is keen on usurping the sovereign power of the residents of Nairobi County to exercise their democratic right under Article 38 of the Constitution to elect their governor in a democratic process," it said.

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