The electoral commission has cleared Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s deputy governor nominee Anne Kananu Mwenda.
The clearance of the Disaster Management and Coordination chief officer, as announced by county Returning Officer Joseph Eroo on Monday, puts her a step closer in the journey to take the position.
Dr Eroo noted that she presented all the documents the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission needed.
“She presented everything … including the letter from the appointing authority and [all] we had in our checklist,” he said.
Dr Eroo said that the next step for Ms Mwenda was presentation of her name to the Nairobi assembly for vetting, a process the county said had been done.
Should she succeed, she will replace Polycarp Igathe, who resigned from the position more in January 2018, saying he had tried in vain to earn Sonko’s trust.
Governor Sonko nominated Ms Kanau on January 6 but her vetting hang in the balance over the legality of the nomination as Sonko was earlier barred from office over alleged loss of Sh357 million of Nairobi’s money.
In January, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) launched investigations into the procedure.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji also contested the nomination and said he would challenge it in court.
Later that month, however, Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi gave the greenlight for Ms Kananu’s vetting by having her name given to the Committee on Appointments for consideration, followed by debate at the assembly.
“According to our procedures, whenever an appointment by the governor requires the approval of the assembly, the name is submitted to the relevant committee for vetting and reporting,” she explained.
“As such, I hereby commit the name of Anne Mwenda to the Select Committee on Appointments for consideration.”
The speaker also directed the committee to ascertain whether the nominee met requirements set by Supreme Court and the IEBC.
The committee also scrutinised all the legal requirements for persons eligible for the deputy governor position and court cases that would prejudice the process.
It was further asked to liaise with the EACC, given it was looking into the original letter of nomination.
Last week, the High Court declined to issue orders barring the assembly from vetting Ms Kananu.
Petitioner Peter Adhiambo Agoro asked the court to suspend the process and order Governor Sonko not to nominate any other person, pending conclusion of his corruption case.
The court set an inter-partes hearing for February 17.
Guidelines by IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati state that when nominating a deputy, a governor must first submit the nominee’s name to it for vetting.
Upon receiving the name, the commission shall appoint a returning officer and a deputy to vet the proposed nominee, pursuant to provisions in the Constitution and statutory qualifications.
Thereafter, the commission shall issue the nominee with a clearance certificate, with a copy forwarded to the governor.
It is after this that the governor can forward the name of the nominee to the county assembly for vetting, deliberation and possible approval.
Once the nominee has been approved by the county assembly, the speaker shall forward to the commission the assembly’s written resolution with recommendations approving the nomination.
The IEBC shall consequently publish the appointment in the Kenya Gazette and notify the Chief Justice who, by law, is expected to announce in the Kenya Gazette the judge or chief magistrate before whom the person will take the oath of office, in line with the County Governments Act.
Upon gazettement, the assembly speaker shall take the necessary steps to facilitate the oath-taking.