Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura was sworn in Monday morning as acting Nairobi Governor, even as Mike Sonko’s political fate looks sealed.
Mr Mutura promised to restore sanity in the running of affairs in the capital.
“You have elected me to various positions in the city and I have never failed you. This will not be the first time,” he said.
He also promised to end the budget impasse to ensure service delivery in the city is not grounded. To this end, he signed budget warrants shortly after taking oath of office on Monday morning, thus paving way for release of Sh37.5bn budget that was on hold since October.
Mr Mutura was to be sworn in on Friday last week but the ceremony was postponed after the assigned judge, Justice Jairus Ngaah, arrived past the stipulated time.
The new development follows the confirmation of Sonko’s impeachment by the Senate last week Thursday, paving way for Mr Mutura to take over as acting governor for 60 days since Nairobi has no deputy governor.
Sonko’s impeachment has now put to his chances of holding any public office in the future on the line, even as he insists he will challenge his ouster in court, especially the impeachment procedure by the County Assembly.
“He is contemplating going to court probably this week as he has 14 days to appeal. He retains the right to appeal that shoddy decision by the assembly and he hopes the court will stand with what is right and not political interests,” said Sonko’s spokesperson Ben Mulwa.
However, the future looks bleak for the impeached governor with legal experts saying his political life is as good as over.
Advocate Steve Ogolla points out that he cannot bounce back into any elective position having been found to have violated the Constitution and abused public office.
This is as a consequence of his removal from office on grounds of gross misconduct, abuse of office and violation of the constitution which contravenes several provisions of the law including Article 75, 180 and 193 of the Constitution.
“The question then is, has governor Sonko been found to have been in breach of the constitution and to have abused State office, the answer is yes. That finding has been made twice by the county assembly and the Senate. As a consequence, he is not permitted to hold any public or State office,” says Mr Ogolla.
High Court advocate Thomas Maosa agrees, saying no court cannot take Sonko back to office as under the doctrine of separation of powers, there is no avenue for appeal as the Senate has sealed his fate.
“He should have arrested the matter at the county level. Senate is an oversight body for ratification of what the county did. A court cannot take him back to office even if the swearing in is delayed,” said Mr Maosa.
Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity says a State officer kicked out for abuse of office is barred from holding any other public office.
Source: Daily Nation news