NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko now says there is no provision in law that compels him to appoint a deputy even as he insists that he is still consulting on a suitable candidate.
Sonko who has been evasive on the subject for almost a year and four months now since the resignation of his then deputy Polycarp Igathe, told Senators in the Devolution Committee not to abuse their powers by forcing him to appoint one hastily.
“I am seeking for your guidance as Senators because Article 96 of the Constitution empowers you to oversight us and I am ready to be oversighted but we must have a healthy oversight. You don’t just introduce laws… do not abuse your powers to compel me to appoint a deputy governor,” Sonko said.
In his defence, Sonko who appeared before the John Kinyua (Laikipia)-led committee said he risks embarrassing himself if he goes ahead to appoint someone without doing due diligence especially if the individual resigns again.
“I have shown goodwill in this matter. I have respected the Supreme Court advisory, but my attempts have failed. What I want you to understand is that after my former deputy governor resigned, he cited failure to earn my trust, but he never explained how. So, I do not want to just rush to appoint another one then they resign. It will be a big embarrassment to me,” Sonko added.
Last May, Sonko fronted the name of controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna to deputize him but Miguna’s nomination was rejected by Members of the County Assembly, a decision Sonko said he had no powers to change.
“I have been given names by NASA in the spirit of the handshake to nominate someone from their party as my deputy, something I had to consult because this seat of governorship is not my own. I had to consult my party members and the whole leadership. Apart from that, I nominated Miguna who was rejected by the county members. I have tried my best so as of now I am taking my time as there are no time frames to nominate a deputy,” said Sonko.
The Senators further sought to know why Nairobi County has been operating without all the County Executive Committee members after some were fired by Governor Sonko.
“What are you doing to ensure the CECs you have fired are replaced as required because the county cannot rely on a county which is not fully constituted,” Nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga posed.
In his rejoinder, Sonko said his County Executive is legally operational because the County Government Act allows counties to execute their mandate with not less than five CECs and his county has complied.
The governor was answering to questions raised by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja as to why the county has been operating without a Deputy Governor for the last 15 months.