The High Court has upheld the nomination, vetting and appointment of Nairobi deputy governor Anne Kananu Mwenda.

The three-judge bench said Ms Kananu’s nomination was not withdrawn and dismissed a letter by former governor Mike Sonko which revoked the nomination.

The unanimous judgment delivered by Justices Juma Chitembwe, Wilfrida Okwany and Weldon Korir means there will be no by-election to replace Sonko.

The judges also found that Sonko’s impeachment had no effect on Ms Kananu’s nomination and that the Nairobi County Assembly acted legally in completing the process.

The court said that having been approved by the Nairobi County Assembly, Ms Kananu did not require formal approval by the governor.

“The county assembly followed the requirements of public participation in vetting Kananu,” Okwany said.

The court dismissed the argument that Kananu had to be formally appointed to office after being vetting by Sonko and not an acting governor.

The court ruled that the acting governor can complete the process of her swearing-in and that there was nothing wrong with the swearing-in of Kananu.

“Had Kananu been vetted before Sonkos impeachment then she would be the Deputy Governor. The pending vetting of Kananu before his impeachment can not be wished away,” Okwany said.

“The speaker was allowed by law to bring that process of Kananu’s nomination to fruition. Although a speaker acting as governor has no power to appoint a DG, this case was different because there was already a nominated DG in place.”

The court ruled they had the jurisdiction to hear the matter revolving around the nomination of Deputy Governor Anne Kananu.

Sonko and all the other petitioners had opposed her nomination arguing that it was illegal.

Sonko said he had revoked her nomination in December 2020.

However, Kananu had argued that the withdrawal of her nomination by Sonko had an ill motive.

The court found that Sonko never withdrew Kananu’s nomination as DG as he had alleged.

It ruled that the attempt to withdraw the nomination of Kananu by Sonko was unlawful.

Justice Okwany said that the nomination of Kananu had been received by IEBC and Sonko could not withdraw the nomination without the approval of the county assembly.

“The conduct of Hon Sonko was that of a person who was not in a hurry to nominate a deputy. We find it hard to believe that a governor can take instructions on phone on who to nominate as governor,” she said.

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