Beatrice Elachi next in command for Nairobi?


Beatrice Elachi next in command for Nairobi?
Nairobi Speaker of the County Assembly Beatrice Elachi welcomes Jamaican reggae and dancehall singer Chris Martin on December 3, 2019

If a vacancy occurs in the office of county governor and that of the deputy, or if the deputy county governor is unable to act, the Speaker of the county Assembly, in this case Beatrice Elachi, shall take up the role.

This is according to Article 182 of the constitution Sub-article 4.

The arrest of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko took place on Friday leaving a vacuum in his office as he has no deputy.

He has been without a deputy since January 2018 when Polycarp Igathe resigned.

Igather said he had failed to earn the trust of Governor Sonko to enable him work at the county.

Since then, there have been least two false starts: Sonko nominated Miguna Miguna who at the time was facing deportation.

Miguna was however rejected by Speaker Elachi as not being a Jubilee member as per procedure.

Thereafter, Sonko reneged on a promise to announce a nominee to allow for consultations.

With no deputy to take over the reins, Speaker Elachi is effectively the next in command as per the law.

She was ousted from office on September 6, 2018 but has since been reinstated.

Will she then ascend to the position of Acting Governor given the hostile situation she finds herself in, after being impeached by a majority of Nairobi MCAs and reinstated by the court?

Even then, Sub-article 5 of Article 182 of the Constitution provides that in the event of the vacancy of a governor and deputy, an election shall be held within 60 days after the Speaker assumes office.

However, in Sonko’s case, the Speaker’s ascension will not be out of vacancy but inability to act caused by a court process.

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Story By Sam Gituku
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