One year after Igathe quit, will Sonko name new deputy?

Polycarp Igathe and Mike Sonko during their swearing-in as Nairobi county bosses at Uhuru Park, August 21, 2017. /ENOS TECHE
Polycarp Igathe and Mike Sonko during their swearing-in as Nairobi county bosses at Uhuru Park, August 21, 2017. /ENOS TECHE

Saturday marks one year since Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe resigned from office arguing that he had failed to earn the confidence of his boss - Govenor Mike Sonko.

Last week, Sonko but indications are that this may not happen today as he had indicated.

Early this week following the resignation of the last female Cabinet member, Janet Ouko, Sonko's style of leadership has been put on the spot.

Igathe resigned four months after being sworn into office.

On his Twitter handle, Igathe said he wished to resign to avoid "abusing or betraying my oath of office to Kenyans, Nairobians and my family."

"Dear Nairobians, it is with a heavy heart that I resign from my seat as elected Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County effective 1 pm on Jan 31, 2018. I regret I have failed to earn the trust of the Governor to enable me to drive admin and management of the county."

His entry into the Sonko camp was as dramatic as the exit with the then Jubilee candidate going to his fetch Igathe from his then Vivo Energy office where he was the managing director.

On May 16, 2017, Igathe made the announcement to Vivo Energy staff members after a closed-door meeting with Sonko at about 11am that day.

Pressure started to mount on Sonko to appoint his deputy following Igathe's resignation.

Four months down the line in May last year, Sonko caused ripples when he nominated controversial opposition lawyer Miguna Miguna as his deputy.

The pronouncement was made unexpectedly in the evening through a letter addressed to the Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly Beatrice Elachi.

“I hereby forward my nominee, lawyer Miguna Miguna to undergo full vetting process and approval by the County Assembly for the position of Deputy Governor."

Sonko's move sparked mixed reactions, from Kenyans on social media, with many doubting the nomination.

At the time, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja dismissed Miguna’s nomination on Twitter; “Miguna will not become the Deputy Governor of Nairobi. Take that to the bank.”

However, Miguna's nomination was not well received by the county assembly.

In June, the House, led by the Majority Leader Abdi Hassan Guyo, rejected Miguna's nomination

"I can assure you the nominee’s name wouldn’t see the light of the day and you can take that to the bank, we cannot have a deputy governor who doesn’t belong to Jubilee party,” Guyo said.

Throwing weight behind the subject, Elachi said Miguna had to first settle his citizenship row before being vetted for the position of Deputy Governor of Nairobi.

In August, Sonko shortlisted four female candidates: Agnes Kagure, Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, Karen Nyamu and Jane Weru. for nomination to the post of his deputy.

He said that when he had nominated Miguna, he was under a lot of pressure, saying that there was bad politics and everyone was talking about Miguna so he struck off his name.

However, Sonko never chose anyone among the four women who will deputise him.

In September, a section of the MCAs from the Minority side threatened to impeach Sonko If he failed to meet the demands of the county assembly.

They expressed concerns about frequent reshuffling and suspension of senior officials.

They also accused Sonko of being reluctant to have another deputy after Polycarp Igathe resigned in January.

A month later, women from various subcounties in Nairobi held demonstrations in the CBD demanding that Sonko should appoint a woman as a deputy.

Led by one Muthoni Chege, the women presented their petition to the governor's office, Deputy President and Office of the President.

"A House cannot be complete without a woman and Sonko's House lacks one. We don't have a specific person we want to be appointed but we want those he nominated vetted and whoever comes out strongly to get the job, " Chege said.

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