NEW DISPENSATION

Which way Governor Kananu? To retain or sack cabinet?

Public Service CAS Elachi says the law is very clear on county chief's roles despite time being a determining factor her decisions

In Summary
  • Lawyer Danstan Omari said after Kananu was sworn as governor, she enjoys the full powers of the governor.
  • All the current executives were appointed by Sonko, vetted and approved by the county assembly in November 2017.
Nairobi county Governor Ann Kananu takes oath of office at KICC on November 16.
GOVERNOR: Nairobi county Governor Ann Kananu takes oath of office at KICC on November 16.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

All eyes are set on Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu on whether she will send her entire 10-member cabinet home or retain it until her tenure ends.

According to Article 179 (7) of the Constitution, "If a vacancy arises in the office of the county governor, the members of the county executive committee appointed...cease to hold office."

This means the cabinet that was in place until December 3, 202o  ceased to exist when then-Nairobi governor Mike Sonko was impeached by the county assembly.

The cabinet consist of Janet Ouko (Education), Lucia Mulwa (Agriculture), Charles Kerich (Lands), Mohammed Dagane (Transport), Hitan Majevdia (Health), Larry Wambua ( Environment), Vesca Kagongo (Devolution), Newton Munene (ICT), Allan Igambi (Finance) and Winfred Gathangu (Trade).

Public Service and Gender CAS Beatrice Elachi, however, said Kananu has the law that will guide her in strategising for the next nine months.

Elachi said the law is clear on the cabinet, despite time being a determining factor in the decisions made by the governor.

“The law is very clear that when a new governor assumes office, the cabinet ceases to exist,” she said.

Lawyer Danstan Omari said after Kananu was sworn as governor, she enjoys the full powers, which include to sack county executive committee members.

By becoming a substantive governor, Kanau can now have the liberty to sack and hire. She can now decide to fire all CECs if she wants to because the law allows it,” he said.

The powers of a governor laid out in Section 30 and 31 of the county governments Act include chairing meetings of the county executive committee.

The governor also represents the county in national and international events, performs state functions in the county and considers, approves and assents to bills passed by the county assembly.

All the executives were appointed by Sonko, vetted and approved by the county assembly in November 2017.

The Star has learnt that some executives had been given a three-year contract.

During her tenure as the Deputy Governor, Kananu did some internal reshuffling of the chief officers, which saw Halkano Waqo, who held the Finance docket, transferred to Agriculture department. He was replaced by Mohammed Sahal.

The last reshuffle done by a substantive governor was on January 31, 2020, when Sonko fired Pauline Kahiga who held the Lands and Finance dockets.

However, when Kananu was sworn in as Deputy Governor in January, Kahiga became the Trade executive.

While acting governor, county assembly Speaker Benson Mutura also did some cabinet changes that saw the return of Education activist Janet Ouko at City Hall.

Ouko become the first executive to resign from Sonko’s cabinet, citing intimidation, among other reasons, by the former county boss.

(edited by Amol Awuor)