Why James Nyoro’s swearing-in as Kiambu Governor was cancelled on Thursday
Kiambu Deputy Governor Dr. James Nyoro was set to be sworn in as the County Governor on Thursday following the impeachment of Ferdinand Waititu on Wednesday.
However, the planned inauguration of Dr. Nyoro, which was to be presided over by High Court judge John Onyiego, had to be called off after hours of waiting ostensibly over anticipated legal implications.
Justice Onyiego, who had been appointed by the Chief Justice to conduct the swearing-in but failed to show up at the event, now says the planned exercise was not in line with requirements under the Assumption of the Office of Governor Act No.4 of 2019.
“The County Committee on Assumption of Governor’s office has not complied with Section 11(1) of the Act, which requires publication and notification of the swearing in ceremony in the Kenya Gazette and the County Gazette stating the time, date and place of swearing. It is those Gazette Notices that grants the power to swear in the Deputy Governor in such situation,” said Justice Onyiego in a notice on Thursday.
The judge further cites Section 11(2) of the Assumption of the Office of Governor Act which requires the Governor to be sworn-in on the first Thursday after the tenth day following the declaration of the final results of the election of the County Governor.
However, in view of the fact that this was not an election case, the Judge acknowledges that the law allows for necessary modifications to be applied when it comes to the swearing-in of a Deputy Governor who assumes the office of the County Governor, but he says this was also not done.
“I understand the modification as relating to shortening of the 10 days period but that has also not been done,” added the Judge.
“In view of the fact that the two provisions have not been complied with, the swearing ceremony has been suspended and the County Secretary is hereby advised to ensure that a committee is established pursuant to Section 3 and 5 of the Act and a resolution is passed in compliance with section 11 of the said Act.”
The judge says the Judiciary is “ready and willing to swear the new Governor upon compliance with the said provisions.”
Meanwhile, the High Court has declined to issue ex-parte orders sought by ousted Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu among them the barring of his deputy from taking over as Governor.
Waititu, who was kicked out of office after his impeachment was withheld by the Senate on Wednesday, filed a petition on Thursday where he sought to have the Senate decision suspended pending the hearing and determination of his petition.
The court instead directed that the matter be heard inter-parte on Monday, February 3.
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