Pressure Mounts on Sonko to Pick Deputy

Jubilee Party officials have asked Nairobi Governor Gideon Mbuvi Sonko to nominate a woman to the position of Deputy Governor.

This came after the Supreme Court issued an advisory on how the vacant seats of Deputy Governor in Nairobi and Nyeri Counties were to be occupied.

Chief Justice David Maraga and the six-judge bench declared that the seat could not remain vacant until the next election and gave the governors 14 days to appoint a person of their choice.

Addressing the press in Nairobi Tuesday, Jubilee Party Nairobi County Chairperson Sunctus Ndegwa said that the woman candidate should be one of character and integrity, adding that the move will also project the county favorably in gender balance.

The swift appointment of the Deputy Governor, the party leaders said, would assist the governor in dealing with the issues affecting the county such as the ongoing land tussle in Mlango Kubwa where residents are protesting against a church grabbing community land.

The court advisory came after months of uncertainty following the resignation of Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe early 2018 and the sudden death of Governor Wahome Gakuru that rendered the Nyeri seat vacant.

Once nominated, the court directed that the county assembly would deliberate and either accept or reject the nominee within 60 days.

Ndegwa said that there are women within the Jubilee party who worked to put the party in power during the last general election that would make suitable candidates.

We ask that the candidate not be a political reject. A person who was rejected by the Nairobi electorate would not make a fitting Deputy Governor. There are many hardworking women within the party suitable for the job, said Ndegwa.

The party leaders also lauded the move by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga to hold reconciliatory talks, saying that it was a move that would ensure political and economic stability of the nation.

Life and business have not been the same after the elections due to the tension-filled political environment, Ndegwa remarked.

Ndegwa added that following the President’s example, the Nairobi county office would make plans to push the reconciliatory agenda within the Nairobi metropolis.

While the constitution provides for how a governor’s seat that falls vacant should be filled, it is silent on the course of action to be taken in the event that the position of a deputy governor falls vacant.

The Supreme Court’s advisory comes after three incidents of offices of Deputy Governor falling vacant since the introduction of devolved governments in 2012.

Source: Kenya News Agency