Upcoming Nairobi by-election suspended

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 4 Jan, 2021 16:37 | 2 mins read
Governor Sonko
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko appears before Senate Health Committee on Monday, November 16, 2020. PHOTO | SCREENSHOT

The High Court on Monday suspended the upcoming Nairobi gubernatorial by-election pending the conclusion of a petition by Mike Sonko challenging his impeachment.

Justice Anthony Mrima suspended the election on the basis that he cannot allow the by-election to continue while there is an ongoing suit challenging the impeachment of Sonko as the Nairobi governor.

“That the Special gazette notice number 10914 dated December 21, 2020 issued by Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) be and is hereby suspended until the hearing and determination of the amended notice of motion,” ordered Justice Mrima.

Sonko, who was impeached on December 17, 2020 after the Senate upheld a motion by the Nairobi County Assembly, had moved to court to challenge his impeachment.

Through lawyer Wilfred Nyamu, Sonko had also sought orders seeking to stop Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura from taking over as acting governor, but that was overtaken by events since Mutura had been sworn-in by the time the suit was filed.

Mutura is expected to act for 60 days before the electoral agency conducts a by-election.

In his petition, Sonko argued that his impeachment was illegal since it did not meet the threshold to remove him from office and occasion the by-election.

“The motion to remove me was illegal, null and  invalid since it did not meet the requisite legal threshold to warrant an impeachment to commence,” he argued.

While seeking to stop his removal, Sonko averred that the entire process to impeach him was unconstitutional, as it lacked integrity, not transparent and verifiable.  

“IEBC will be proceeding on an illegality if they proceed to hold elections for the gubernatorial seat for Nairobi City County,” Nyamu added.

The lawyer says the velocity  at which Mutura was sworn-in  indicated there were powerful forces that wanted Sonko out in total disregard of his rights to fair administrative action.

Nyamu said that the law allows for 10 days before the swearing-in of acting governor.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had set February 18, as the date for Nairobi gubernatorial by-election.

The mini poll had attracted several candidates, including Miguna Miguna, Dennis Waweru and Bishop Margaret Wanjiru.