Nairobi Speaker Sworn in As Acting Governor After Sonko Ouster

  • Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura
    Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura
  • UPDATE: Acting Governor Benson Mutura signed budget warrants paving way for release of Sh37.5bn budget that was on hold since October.

    Former Gorvernor Mike Mbuvi Sonko had refused to append his signature on the county’s Sh37.5 billion annual budget that allocated Sh27.1 billion to Nairobi Metropolitan Services, leaving City Hall with Sh8.4 billion.

    Nairobi Speaker Benson Mutura was on Monday, December 21, sworn in as the interim Governor for the next 60 days following the ouster of Mike Mbuvi Sonko last week.

    Former Makadara MP Benson Mutura
    Former Makadara MP Benson Mutura

    Mutura took oath of office at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) at around 10am.

    During the ceremony, which was conducted under heavy police presence, Mutura assured Kenyans that he was ready to commit to his work in serving the people of Nairobi.

    "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 promised to end the budget crisis in the county so that service delivery is realised.

    Mutura was initially supposed to be sworn in on Friday, but the ceremony had to be postponed after the magistrate who was to preside over the event arrived late.

    The Nairobi Governor by-election will be held early next year, around February 15, 2021, which will be within 60 days of the Senate impeachment vote.

    According to Article 182 4 and 5, the County Assembly Speaker assumes the Govenor's office in a case where the Deputy Governor is unable to take over following a vacancy.

    Polycarp Igathe, who was the Nairobi Deputy Governor, resigned in January 2018 citing Sonko’s lack of confidence in him.

    Sonko became the second governor to be impeached by the Senate following former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu in January 2020.

    The Senate upheld the County Assembly's decision to impeach the former Nairobi Senator on Thursday night following a two-day hearing.

    27 voted Yes, 16 voted No and two abstained (Makueni's Mutula Kilonzo and Nairobi's Johnson Sakaja) on all charges. 

    Senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka issued a gazette notice dated Friday, December 18 confirming the impeachment of Sonko.

    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in his office in October 2020
    Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in his office in October 2020