Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is among the individuals set to be impacted by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, November 26.
If the BBI recommendations sail through, governors who fail to appoint deputies within a period of three months will have their appointing authority usurped by assembly speakers.
This curious recommendation seems directly targeted at Sonko and his decision not to appoint a replacement for Polycarp Igathe who resigned abruptly in January 2018 but also appears to guard against similar future occurrences.
"Where a vacancy, for any given reason, occurs in the Deputy Governor’s office, and the Governor fails to appoint a replacement within 90 days, the Speaker of the County Assembly, with the approval of the Assembly, shall nominate a Deputy Governor," the report read in part.
Igathe had resigned in a huff on January 12, 2018, claiming that he had failed to earn the trust of his boss to enable him work at the county.
“Dear Nairobians, it is with a heavy heart that I resign my seat as elected Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County effective 1 p.m. on 31st Jan 2018," his statement read in part.
Sonko has since been under pressure to appoint a new deputy, with Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja occasionally calling out the governor for dragging his feet.
During a senate appearance on April 24, Sonko had told off senators over their insistence on him appointing a deputy citing that there was no law compelling him to do so.
“I am seeking for your guidance as Senators because Article 96 of the Constitution empowers you to oversight us and I am ready to be oversighted but we must have a healthy oversight. You don’t just introduce laws… do not abuse your powers to compel me to appoint a deputy governor,” Sonko is quoted on a report by Capital FM.
The report further proposes that the deputy must be of the opposite gender from the governor.
"The running mate of every candidate for the position of governor should be of the opposite gender," the report recommends.
According to Sonko's communication Director Jacob Elkanah, who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke on November 18, the county boss intended to appoint a female governor from the Mt Kenya region.
"Sonko will appoint a female deputy but after due legal process by the Senate is followed," he stated.
On Wednesday, April 2019, Sonko had been summoned the Senate committee on devolution and intergovernmental relations, where he was grilled on why he had by that time gone for 15 months without a deputy governor.
The governor had, however, described the matter as a non-issue.abuse
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