The legal battle between former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Deputy Governor Ann Kananu could deny Nairobi County a substantive governor until after the 2022 elections.
Another whose fate is on the balance is the Nairobi Metropolitan Service because a deed of transfer of functions to the National Government is expected to expire in March next year. This can only be extended by a substantive office holder with the backing of the County Assembly.
While the elections are 10 months away, Sonko’s move to the Supreme Court to stop the swearing in of Ms. Kananu as governor has lifted the lid on a ploy to delay her ascension to power through legal hurdles.
On Monday, the Supreme Court stopped Kananu’s ascension to the seat after Sonko challenged a Court of Appeal decision on Friday that dismissed his case against her assumption of office.
The Court of Appeal declared that the ex-governor has been out of office for more than 10 months hence he is no longer the county boss.
Legal experts have argued that these supremacy battles could lead to the governor’s office remaining vacant until August 9, 2022.
Constitutional lawyer Bobby Mkangi has argued that that Sonko’s appeals have led to litigation suits that continue to delay the selection of a substantive governor.
He noted that Kananu has no option but to wait until the legal suits are done away with and the courts decide the way forward for Nairobi.
Also, there is another pending case at the Appelate court that seeks to establish whether Sonko was illegally impeached. The case is coming up for consideration and determination next month.
Mkangi argued that Sonko’s move to the Supreme Court will buy him time. He added that Nairobi County could go for a by-election if the court finds out Kananu’s appointment was unlawful.
If the court finds she’s in office illegally, then this will give IEBC a chance to plan for a by-election within 90 days even as the Speaker occupies the seat in acting capacity.
Kananu who is acting governor is currently barred from conducting some Executive roles as stipulated in Section 30 of the County Government Act and the Constitution.
Sonko is still hopeful of reclaiming his seat. He told his followers in a video clip shared on his Facebook page to be patient and wait for November when the petition challenging the removal will be heard.