CITY HALL INTRIGUES

AG's advice sought in feud over head of Finance docket

Government Printer has requested Kenya's Attorney General to give his advisory on the ongoing pull and push facing City Hall's Finance Docket

In Summary

• On January 31, in a Cabinet reshuffle, Governor Sonko kicked Kahiga out of his Cabinet and listed the current CEC for Trade, Allan Igambi as, the CEC for Finance.

• But Igambi has not legally occupied the office as his name has never been gazetted officially as the CEC for Finance. AG asked for his opinion.   

Attorney General Paul Kihara in his office on Monday, May 28.
ADVICE SOUGHT: Attorney General Paul Kihara in his office on Monday, May 28.
Image: COURTESY:

The legal battle over who occupies the Nairobi County's Finance Department is heading to the office of the Attorney General.

Government Press Chief Executive Officer Mwenda Njoka has written to AG Paul Kihara seeking his advisory.

"We are in receipt of a letter ... asking for a proforma invoice [advice] for purposes of Gazetting Allan Esabwa Igambi as substantive County Executive Member, Finance and Economic Planning, while requesting subsequent degazettement of Pauline Nyambura Kahiga," reads the letter from the AG's office.

Njoka says there is an ongoing case before Milimani High Court (case number JR 23 of 2020) before justice John Mativo and it is yet to be determined.

However, in the letter dated February 7, Njoka states that before the matter filed in court could be heard, the Government Printer received a letter on February 5 from Advocate Harrison Kinyanjui purporting to have withdrawn the case.

Njoka said lawyer Kinyanjui could be using the intended withdrawal to pressure the Government printer to gazette Allan Igambi as the CEC for Finance and degazette Pauline Nyambura Kahuga from same position.

City Hall lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui on January 28 filed suit at the Milimanii law court against the Government Press CEO and the Attorney General.

He wanted a letter written earlier by Government Press CEO Mwenda Njoka to be quashed and furthermore, Njoka be compelled to revoke the contents of the letter.

Through the Government Printer, Njoka had rejected a purported Gazette notice, that had degazetted the appointment of Pauline Kahiga as the County Executive for Finance as of December 5, 2019, terming it illegal.

Njoka said the purported notice was not in accordance with law; Article 179 of the Constitution, and other applicable laws.

He further said in Section 35 of the County Government Act and Article 179 of the Constitution, the duty to appoint solely rests with the governor.

"The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to inform you and all relevant authorities that we have done appropriate corrigenda [correction] in the Kenya Gazette, reverting to the status quo prior to notice Number 172 of December 13, 2019," Njoka said.

"Based on the above, we are therefore afraid that the request by the County Attorney and manoeuvres by advocate Kinyanjui might be made to sanitise actions that would be seen to defeat the court process," Njoka says in the letter

"It is on this premise that we, in a bid to aid the court process, and not appear to propagate a perceived sanitisation, legality or illegality, therefore, we request your advice on our thinking that the same be put in abeyance until such a time that the status is clarified by all the relevant authorities," he added.

Subsequently, the Government's Printer says it is aware of an ongoing criminal case involving the appointing Authority, Nairobi Governor MikeSonko, and they are uneasy to be seen to be receiving instructions from him given previous High Court rulings on similar circumstances.

The letter was copied to Acting County Secretary of Nairobi, the Director of Public Prosecutions, The DCI, the EACC and the speaker of the county assembly.

Also copies were sent to the Controller of Budget, the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, Principal Secretary of the National Treasury and Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Interior and Coordination.

On January 31, in a Cabinet reshuffle, Governor Sonko kicked Kahiga out of his Cabinet and listed the current CEC for Trade, Allan Igambi as, the CEC for Finance.

However, to date, Igambi has not legally occupied the office as his name has never been gazetted officially as the CEC for Finance.

(Edited by V. Graham)