MCAs to vet Kananu despite Ruto, Sonko opposition

Nairobi Assembly to vet Kananu for deputy governor; she had been nominated by Sonko who allegedly withdrew her name

In Summary

• DP Ruto warned the county assembly against vetting Kananu on Friday in what he called an attempt to forestall a democratic by-election.

• Sonko said he will withdraw a court case he filed stopping Nairobi’s by-election to allow those seeking the governor's seat to position to battle it out.

Nairobi assembly Majority leader Abdi Ibrahim Hassan.
MAJORITY LEADER: Nairobi assembly Majority leader Abdi Ibrahim Hassan.

The Nairobi County Assembly plans proceed to vet Deputy Governor nominee Anne Mwenda Kananu as expected on Friday.

Successful vetting means she could become governor, replacing Mike Sonko and avoiding a divisive by-election.

But now Sonko wants a democratic by-election and so does Deputy President William Ruto so the people can choose their next governor.

On Sunday Ruto broke his silence on Nairobi politics and warned the county assembly against vetting Kananu on Friday. He said that would forestall a democratic by-election to fill the governor's slot, as provided by law.

The DP claimed people were planning to instal the governor using the court.

“We want to tell those who are roaming in court, we want to tell them that even if they choose their governor in court, the people of Nairobi can choose their own in a by-election,” Ruto said.

However, Majority leader Abdi Guyo Hassan told the Star on Monday that despite Ruto's remarks, the assembly will proceed with the vetting process.

"We respect the Deputy President and other people's views but the assembly has a constitutional mandate and it will go ahead and vet Kananu," he said.

She is the county's Disaster Management officer and a criminologist.

Guyo said unless the court interferes, the appointment committee, of which he is vice chairman, will conduct the vetting on Friday.

The United Democratic Alliance party's Nairobi governor candidate Bishop Margaret Wanjiru claimed that Kananu should step down and abstain from county politics.

“You cannot give us one candidate claiming she was a nominee and yet the person [Sonko] who made the nomination has disowned her, saying he cancelled the nomination,” the bishop said.

“The lady called Kananu I plead that she respects herself and backs out from the politics around the gubernatorial seat,” Wanjiru added.

While speaking in Kayole, Bishop Wanjiru said she she knows and understands the problems facing Nairobi residents, and the party to solve them is UDA.

The former Starehe MP was fronted as the party’s candidate for the Nairobi governor's at the UDA headquarters, branded the Hustler Centre, which was officially launched on Friday last week..

The DP has had long had reservations about Nairobi politics and has never waded into it before.

The second in command never expressed his opinion last year when the Nairobi Metropolitan Services took over the core function of the county, following a deed of the transfer agreement.

Sonko and politicians allied to Ruto have repudiated the transfer, condemned the process and claimed Nairobi has been militarized.

On Sunday Ruto asked city residents to support Bishop Wanjiru and vote for her as their governor.

Former Nairobi Governor Sonko has said he withdrew Kananu’s name for deputy governor nominee, thus "blocking" the assembly from proceeding with vetting.

However, acting Governor and Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura in a sworn affidavit claimed that the "withdrawal" letter was forged with a fabricated stamp and his office never received any letter.

He said the purported withdrawal letter does not have any signature of the person who has received it, according to procedure.

"This is indeed a very serious, shameful and desperate action by the former governor as it is not only a forgery but a fraudulent attempt to deceive the court by the continued use of the stationery of the office which he was constitutionally removed from, thus subverting and abusing the entire process,” Mutura added.

Consequently, he has written a complaint letter to the Directorate of Criminal investigations asking for an expeditious probe.

Sonko also said he will be moving to court to withdraw a case he filed stopping Nairobi’s by-election to allow those seeking the position to battle it out.

“Because Nairobi is big and it needs a leader, I’m ready to withdraw the case for the people to elect their own chosen governor,” he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)