Former Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe has joined the ongoing dispute over city’s gubernatorial seat by asking the High Court to determine whether his resignation three years ago was formalised.
While throwing the dispute into a new spin, Mr Igathe says although he handed his resignation letter on January 12, 2018, he was not aware whether the legal steps to formalise his resignation were conducted.
“That the legal effect of the failure to formalise or recognise my resignation and the failure by the Nairobi County or any public institution to conduct any legal formalities to conclude my resignation is a matter to be determined by this honourable court in my humble view,” he said in an affidavit.
The High Court has already stopped the by-election as announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), pending the determination of several cases.
The court also stopped Deputy Governor Anne Kananu Mwenda from being sworn as the governor pending the determination of a case filed by Law Society of Kenya (LSK).
In the case, Peter Kiiru argues that IEBC has no right to call for a by-election to fill the position because Mr Igathe’s resignation was never formalised.
He said the resignation was not communicated to the Speaker of the assembly as required by the constitution.
Mr Igathe says in the affidavit that he resigned on January 12, 2018 in a letter to then Governor Mike Sonko and copied t the Speaker of the county assembly. He says neither Sonko nor the Speaker acknowledged his letter.
The Nairobi governor’s position fell vacant after Mr Sonko was impeached by the County Assembly and the decision endorsed by Senate.
The County Speaker Benson Mutura was made the acting governor, pending the election of the substantive holder. But Ms Kananu was hurriedly vetted and sworn in in a process that took about five hours.
LSK then went to court arguing that the move to vet and swear her in, undermines the right of the people of Nairobi to elect a Governor and Deputy Governor of their choice. “That this swearing in is problematic, unconstitutional and a brazen attempt to undermine the process of a by-election as anticipated in Article 182(5) of the Constitution of Kenya,” says LSK.
LSK said it was apprehensive that the county government was likely to proceed to commit further acts of illegalities by swearing in Ms Kananu as the Governor of Nairobi City County who will in turn nominate yet another person for appointment as Deputy Governor.
It is the LSK’s argument that at the point of the vacancy occurring at the office of the Governor, there was no deputy governor to assume the office of the governor for the remainder of the term as prescribed in Article 182 (2) of the Constitution.
The cases will be mentioned today before Justice Weldon Korir.
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