CITY HALL WOES

IEBC on the spot over clearance of Sonko's DG nominee

IEBC on the spot over clearance of Sonko's DG nominee

In Summary

• IEBC Returning Officer Joseph Oroo says the commission's work is to check the suitability of any candidate to occupy an office.

• Imwatok questioned whether Jubilee Party gave Kananu the nomination certificate which is one of the requirements needed by IEBC .

IEBC Nairobi County returning officer Joseph Eroo hands clearance certificate to Nairobi County Deputy Governor nominee Anne Kananu Mwenda for appointment.
IEBC Nairobi County returning officer Joseph Eroo hands clearance certificate to Nairobi County Deputy Governor nominee Anne Kananu Mwenda for appointment.
Image: GPS

The IEBC has been put on the spotlight for allegedly clearing Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's Deputy Governor nominee without ascertaining whether she is a member of Jubilee Party or there is a vacancy in the office.

Minority Chief Whip Peter Imwatok on Monday claimed that Anne Kananu has been cleared for a seat that has not been declared vacant.

The legislator further cast doubt on whether Mwenda who is Nairobi County Chief Officer for Disaster Management and Coordination is a member of Jubilee Party which is the current party sponsoring the Governor.

 
 

In January 2018, Polycarp Igathe resigned as Sonko's DG thus creating a vacancy which has not been filled up to date.

Upon resignation, Imwatok argues that the Governor ought to have communicated to the Speaker who then writes to the electoral commission regarding the resignation.

He states that the commission was quick to gazette a returning officer to clear the nominee before declaring the position vacant.

Lawful procedure

In a letter dated January 9,2020 IEBC Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Michael Goa wrote to Diro Advocates, representing the County Assembly of Nairobi stating it had not received any communication regarding the vacant DG Office.

"On the vacancy in the office of the Deputy Governor, Nairobi County, the commission has not received any formal communication as to the alleged vacancy in the office of the Deputy Governor other than information in the media," he said.

"We, however, wish to point out that the commission has developed a procedure for the clearance of a person nominated by a Governor as Deputy Governor and the same has been shared with the Council of Governors. The said procedure has been applied successfully in the appointment of Deputy Governors in Nyeri and Bomet Counties."

 

Imwatok explained that the law mandates the governor is to communicate the resignation to the Speaker of the County Assembly who then writes to IEBC stating the resignation and within seven days of the receipt of the name of resignation, IEBC ought to de-gazette the pronouncement of a vacancy.

Nairobi County Assembly Minority Whip Peter Imwatok.
Nairobi County Assembly Minority Whip Peter Imwatok.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A
 

However, IEBC Returning Officer Joseph Oroo said that the commission's work is to check the suitability of any candidate to occupy an office.

He said that a gazette notice is an administrative process which is necessarily not a legal requirement but just a way government entities communicate.

"From where I sit, if you are the appointing authority, once you turn in your resignation to me, that advises to your intent. It is not a must that a letter is done to IEBC. We are not the appointing authority," Oroo said.

Last week, Kananu was cleared by IEBC giving her a green light to be vetted by the County Assembly's Committee of Appointment.

Jubilee or independent candidate?

Imwatok who doubles as Makongeni MCA questioned whether Jubilee Party gave Kananu the nomination certificate which is one of the requirements needed by IEBC .

" The Governor being a Jubilee member, the DG is an automatic part of the party. One must first be cleared by the party that is sponsoring that respective governor unless IEBC says that the advisory from the Supreme Court said you can pick an independent candidate to go and be vetted by the IEBC," Imwatok explained.

He alleged that the information on the ground is that the Jubilee party has not issued a nomination certificate to Kananu.

The Acting Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu, however, confirmed that Kananu is a registered member of Jubilee Party.

Oroo said Jubilee confirmed that the nominee was a party member and the sequence of clearance was not a worrying issue.

"Ours is to confirm that the nominee belongs to the same party and the Registrar of Political Parties can confirm, which was done that Kananu belongs to Jubilee Party,' he said.


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