Activist Okiyah Omtatah has moved to court seeking to block planned vetting and approval of Anne Kananu Mwenda as the nominee for Nairobi deputy governor.

In a petition under certificate of urgency, Omtatah wants the court to quash the Gazette Notice published on January 4 by the Nairobi city clerk. 

Justice Anthony Mrima certified the case as urgent and directed it to be heard next week. 

The activist wants the court to prohibit the Nairobi City County Assembly, Speaker Benson Mutura, Clerk of the assembly and their agents and any persons howsoever acting from vetting, appointing or swearing in Kananu.

Omtatah wants the court to Compel Independent and Electrol and Boundaries Commission to announce a vacancy in the office of the Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County and prepare at the scheduled by-election for the election of the Deputy Governor alongside the Governor as provided for in the law. 

He seeks a declaration that Kananu is ineligible to be vetted, appointed or sworn into office as the Deputy Governor arguing that only a serving Deputy Governor in office when a governor is impeached, can take over as the governor. 

“In the absence of a substantive Governor to make the appointment, a nominee for Deputy Governor, who is vetted and approved by a County Assembly, cannot be appointed to be sworn into office,” he says.

He adds that the office of the Nairobi City County Deputy Governor is vacant and should be filled alongside that of the Governor at the scheduled by-election to be held by the IEBC.  

IEBC, he says should announce the vacancy in the office of the Deputy Governor and prepare for the election of the office holder alongside the Governor as provide for in law. 

“To the extent that they do not provide for the election of the Nairobi County Deputy Governor, Gazette Notice No. 10914  dated December 21, 2020; Gazette Notice No. 4 of January 14, 2021; Gazette Notice No. 5 of 4 January, 2021; Gazette Notice No. 6 of 4 January, 2021 are unconstitutional and, therefore, invalid, null and void,” Omtatah urged. 

He argue that there is no legal basis to vet Kananu for appointment as the Deputy Governor in circumstances where there is no substantive Governor to make the appointment.

He said the by-election for both the Governor and the Deputy Governor can only be avoided where the High Court quashes the impeachment of Governor Mike Sonko in which case he will resume office.

Regarding Polycarp Igathe, Omtatah said Igathe is no longer the deputy Governor of Nairobi City County and he left office on January 31, 2018 and proceeded into private business and never looked back.

Igathe was elected as the second Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County at the 2017 general elections on a Jubilee Party ticket with Sonko but later resigned.