BETTER NAIROBI

BBI report has solution to prompt replacement of deputy governor

BBI proposes that a speaker can nominate a DG 90 days after the position becomes vacant

In Summary

• Nairobi has been without a deputy governor since the resignation of Polycap Igathe in January last year because Governor Mike Sonko is reluctant to appoint one.

• The 2010 Constitution does not specify how long the position of a deputy governor should remain vacant

County Assembly speakers will appoint replacements of deputy governors should governors fail to do so within 90 days of the positions falling vacant if the BBI report is adopted.

However, this must be sanctioned by the respective county assemblies. The report says: “In case a vacancy occurs in the deputy governor’s office, and the governor fails to appoint a replacement within 90 days, the speaker of the County Assembly, with the approval of the assembly, shall nominate a deputy governor.”

Currently, the appointment of a deputy governor remains the preserve of the governor. Nairobi has, for instance, been without a Deputy Governor since the resignation of Polycap Igathe in January last year because Governor Mike Sonko is reluctant to appoint one.

Nairobi is the only county of out of 47 without a deputy governor.

The 2010 Constitution does not specify how long the position of a deputy governor should remain vacant upon impeachment, death, resignation or the DG  assuming the governor’s office.

In March last year, the Supreme Court gave an advisory that the office of the deputy governor ought not to remain vacant until the next General Election.

The advisory was that a governor has 14 days to nominate a person to the office after which the county assembly, within 60 days, will vote to either reject or allow the individual to assume office.

Both Nyeri and Bomet counties had vacancies in the offices of the deputy governor when Mutahi Kahiga assumed the office of the governor following the death of  Wahome Gakuru and Hillary Barchok assumed office after the death of Governor Joyce Laboso respectively.

 

Kahiga promptly appointed Caroline Karugu to fill the DG's vacancy. Similarly, Barchok appointed County Assembly Speaker Shadrack Rotich as his deputy.

The BBI report proposes that the running mate of a governor should be of the opposite gender to ensure gender equity.

In Nairobi,  Sonko has since January said he will be deputised by a woman. At one time he shortlisted four candidates (all women) for the position of DG.

They were former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru, gender activist Agnes Kagure, lawyers Karen Nyamu and Jane Weru.  None of the names was forwarded to the County Assembly Speaker's office.

The BBI report also proposes that the National Government should be in charge of some functions in Nairobi due to the city's special status.

Nairobi houses all the arms of the government and is also an international city being the third global headquarters of the United Nations.

However, this should not impede on the right of Nairobians to representation at the ward and constituency levels.

The capital is also a major diplomatic hub.

"To maintain its special status as a global UN headquarters and meet its obligation towards the United Nations and other diplomatic missions, Nairobi needs massive investments in infrastructure that the formula of the Commission for Revenue Allocation cannot accommodate," read the report.