Can Mike Sonko appoint another deputy governor?

Written By: Jacob Kioria

Polycarp Igathe resigned as the Nairobi Deputy Governor. In a message on his twitter handle, Igathe claims he has failed to earn the trust Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko to enable him drive the Administration and Management of the county.

Confusion abounds on whether Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko can appoint a deputy governor following the resignation of his Deputy Polycarp Igathe. 

The constitution is mute on what the Governor or county can do once there is a vacancy in the office of the Deputy Governor as it only provides mechanisms on filling the position of Governor if he resigns, is impeached or dies.

Igathe called it quits on Friday citing poor working relations with Governor Mike Sonko and is expected to leave office at the end of January. While it’s not clear the exact dispute between both that led to the drastic decision, confusion abounds on the fate of the Nairobi county Executive in the absence of Igathe.

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Sonko and Igathe were elected as a package on the 8th of August general election. The constitution is silent on how to fill the position of Deputy Governor once there is a vacancy.

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While Article 182 of the constitution provides mechanisms of filling the office of Governor once there’s a vacancy, the Constitution does not contemplate a situation where a Deputy Governor can resign, die or be impeached and how the position can be filled.

The only time the office of the Deputy Governor is mentioned in the constitution in relation to the office being vacant is in Article 182(4) which contemplates a vacancy in both the office of Governor or Deputy.

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So can Mike Sonko appoint another Deputy? Nyeri County until today has no Deputy Governor after the death of Governor Wahome Gakuru and subsequent assumption of the office of Governor by his Deputy Mutahi Kahiga.

Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki and Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen plan to introduce a bill to amend the County Government Act to allow a Deputy Governor who has assumed the office of Governor after there’s a vacancy in the office of an elected County Governor to appoint a Deputy.

But the Bill still does not contemplate a situation where there’s a vacancy in the office of the Deputy Governor and what the Governor should do.

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Can the Mike Sonko- Igathe situation force a rethink of the bill to include mechanisms to fill the office of Deputy Governor once there’s a vacancy? This will be the debate in the coming days.

Elsewhere, nominated Member of Parliament David Ole Sankok is calling on Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to be firm in his promises he made to Nairobi residents in his manifesto.

Ole Sankok said Sonko was elected because the people of Nairobi believed in him and that the resignation of his deputy should not affect his promise to serve the people of Nairobi County as he had promised.


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