Why Senate may not convene to discuss Nairobi crisis

Senator Sakaja had petitioned Speaker Kenneth Lusaka to call for a special sitting

In Summary

•The Senate will not convene a special sitting to discuss crisis Nairobi because it does not have a substantive agenda to discuss and vote on.

•The county has been ‘headless’ as Governor Sonko has no deputy to take charge in his absence.

The Senate
The Senate
Image: FILE

The Senate will not convene a special sitting to discuss the leadership crisis in Nairobi, the Jubilee House leadership has said.

Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen said such a sitting does not have a specific agenda to discuss and vote on. He said he can only petition Speaker Kenneth Lusaka to call for a special sitting if he receives specific issues that the Senate can take a vote on.

“At the moment, there is no specific issue that the Senate needs to deal with. We don’t want to come and discuss the situation in Nairobi. We must be sitting and discussing a decision that is specific in nature and will lead to specific results,” Murkomen said.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has been pushing for a sitting to discuss the crisis in the city following the arrest, arraignment and blocking of Governor Mike Sonko from accessing his City Hall office.

He petitioned Lusaka to call for a special sitting soon after Sonko was barred from setting foot in his office, saying the county was staring at a serious constitutional crisis.

The situation is all the more serious given that Sonko does not have a deputy to steer the devolved unit in his absence. On Tuesday last week, he nominated Anne Mwenda as deputy governor. The DPP has dismissed the nomination and accused the county boss of acting in violation of court orders after he was enjoined from performing any official function. 

Meanwhile, Lusaka, who confirmed receiving Sakaja's request, said at the time that he could not convene a sitting unless such a petition came from either Murkomen or Minority leader James Orengo, as stipulated in the standing orders.

But Murkomen said they are still in consultation with Sakaja over the push for a sitting, noting that the senator’s request was broad and could not help the Senate to come up with an actionable resolution to address the crisis.

“The issue of Nairobi is still under consultation. The senator of Nairobi has truly consulted with a number of us on the possibility of convening a special sitting to discuss this issue,” Murkomen said.

“But we are still thinking through what he really wants to be done so that when we come here, we have a resolution to pass and which resolution is actionable — not just debating for the sake of debating."

Murkomen is one of Sonko’s lead lawyers in the Sh357 million corruption case.

However, the vocal politician downplayed his representation of the governor, saying he will do what the law says on conflict of interest when the matter comes before the Senate.

“The law is also very clear that where one feels they are undergoing through a conflict of interest situation, they declare not just representation, it includes where you have monetary issues, business, blood relations or personal relationship,” he said.