Blow to Sonko as court dismisses all petitions challenging Anne Kananu’s nomination


Blow to Sonko as court dismisses all petitions challenging Anne Kananu's nomination
File image of Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu Mwenda. PHOTO| COURTESY

The High Court has dismissed petitions that were filed challenging the nomination, vetting and swearing in of Anne Kananu Mwenda as Nairobi Deputy Governor before she was later inaugurated as Governor.

A three-judge bench comprising justices Juma Chitembwe, Wilfrida Okwany and Weldon Korir ruled that the swearing in of Kananu was constitutional despite an attempt by former Governor Mike Sonko to withdraw her nomination.

“The nomination, vetting, approval and swearing in of Kananu as Deputy Governor was constitutional and complied with applicable laws. Consequently, we find that all petitions challenging her ascendancy are without merit and are hereby dismissed,” ruled the court.

Sonko had argued that he had revoked Kananu’s nomination and therefore the County Assembly had no powers to appoint her as deputy governor and subsequently take over as the county boss following his impeachment.

The court, however, ruled that Sonko cannot unilaterally withdraw the nomination of Kananu without the input of the County Assembly, adding that this amounted to violation of the principle of separation of powers.

The petitioners had also alleged that there was no public participation in the vetting on Kananu as deputy governor. However, the judges ruled that the nomination of Kananu was publicised through the local dailies where the public was asked to give their views.

“We note that on 8th of January, 2021 in an advertisement on the Daily Nation, the County Assembly announced the impending vetting of Anne Kananu. It’s our finding that the requirement of public participation was met,” ruled the court.

It was the court’s observation that had the County Assembly rejected the nomination of Kananu as deputy governor, then the IEBC would have been required to hold a by-election.

In the ruling, the judges declared that the impeachment of Sonko did not have any impact on his earlier decision to appoint Kananu as his deputy.

 

 

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