, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has pulled a surprise move by nominating deported controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna as his deputy.
The announcement was made on Wednesday night, hours after the self-styled general of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) cancelled his trip to the country after the government declined to grant him unconditional entry or issue him with a Kenyan passport as ordered by the High Court.
“I hereby forward my nominee, lawyer Miguna Miguna to undergo full vetting process and approval by the County Assembly for the position of Deputy Governor,” Sonko said in his letter to Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi.
He defended Miguna, saying, “he meets all the requirements provided for in the constitution, the Leadership and Integrity Act, the Elections Act and the County Government Act.”
The deputy’s post in Nairobi County fell vacant following the resignation of Polycarp Igathe on January 12, citing frustrations after failing to earn trust of his boss in the management of the county affairs.
In recent weeks, activists and County Assembly Members allied to the Opposition have been exerting pressure on Sonko to nominate a deputy.
The Wednesday surprise move sparked mixed reactions, from Kenyans on social media, with many even doubting the nomination.
Laywer Nelson Havi tweeted, “On the Miguna Miguna nomination as Deputy Governor of Nairobi, the stone the builder refused has turned out to be the building block!!”
Blogger Robert Alai said: “Miguna Miguna will mess this with one stupid opinion. Doesn’t know when to shut up.”
There are those who dismissed the move like Cane Cutter, who said, “Miguna cannot work under Sonko as a junior. He will cause chaos in City Hall just wait.”
Miguna, who is based in Canada, is yet to comment on his nomination.
He was deported last month for the second time over the controversial swearing in of NASA leader Raila Odinga as the People’s President, and is now fighting his deportation through the courts.
He issued a statement from Toronto Wednesday, saying he had instructed his lawyers to go back to court with a fresh application, after the Immigration Department declined to issue him with a Kenyan passport as per earlier orders.