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Kenya

Sonko nominates Anne Mwenda to be his deputy amid graft case

In this undated photo, Sonko is seen with Anne Kananu Mwenda, whom he nominated for the Deputy Governor’s post.

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 6 – Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has nominated Anne Kananu Mwenda to be his Deputy, despite a court order barring him from conducting official county business during the period he is facing corruption charges.

Sonko’s nominee is currently serving as the Chief Officer in charge of the Disaster Management Services at the county.

The nomination is contained in letter to County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi.

Nairobi has been without a Deputy Governor since January 2018 when Polycarp Igathe resigned citing frustrations from his boss, and the crisis at City Hall hit fever pitch in December 2019 when Sonko was arrested and charged with corruption, and ordered to stay away from office until his case is heard and determined.

“Given the foregoing, and in the interest of ensuring stability at Kenya’s capital city, and the largest county by economy and population, I do hereby nominate Anne Kananu Mwenda to the position of Deputy Governor,” Sonko said in the letter dated January 6, 2020, in which he requested the county assembly to expedite his nominee’s vetting and subsequent approval.

As a law-abiding citizen, Sonko said, “I will continue to abide by the bail terms granted to me, and ensure that the operations of the county are not affected in any way, to guarantee the great people of Nairobi uninterrupted services.”

Sonko, who denied corruption charges in a Sh357 million scandal, is out on bond after posting Sh15 million cash bail.

He was charged alongside City Hall employees and suppliers who benefited from the scam in which some wired money directly into the Governor’s bank accounts, according to court records and charges read out to him.

The action of nominating his deputy is no doubt set to ignite fresh controversy with possible lawsuits because of the order barring him from office or conducting official business, in line with a Court of Appeal ruling that upheld a High Court order barring any governor facing graft charges from office.

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Apart from Sonko, two other Governors Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) and Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu) are also out after facing corruption charges.

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