NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – The High Court on Monday temporarily stopped the planned installation of Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu as Governor, until an application by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Kenya Human Rights Commission(KHRC) is heard and determined.
Justice Anthony Mrima slated the matter for hearing on January 28.
The two bodies filed the suit after Nairobi Speaker Benson Mutura relinquished his acting governor role on Monday.
“We have secured a significant victory with the high court temporarily stopping the swearing in & assumption of office of Ann Kananu pending hearing of a petition filed by the KHRC & LSK. The court has just blocked the attempt at illegal subversion of our constitution,” KHRC in a tweet.
Both KHRC and LSK want a by-election to be held within 60 days as provided by the law, terming any plans to evade a by-election as unconstitutional.
The High Court, in a ruling issued on January 4, temporarily stopped Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from conducting the Nairobi by-election, pending the hearing and determination of an application by former Governor Mike Sonko who had moved to court challenging his ouster.
Speaker Benson Mutura assumed office as Acting Governor following the impeachment of Governor Sonko in December 2020, with the law requiring IEBC to hold an election within sixty days.
But as he stepped down on Monday, Mutura said he handed over Kananu, on grounds that Nairobi has a substantive Deputy Governor who should assume to the office given the vacancy that exists.
Kananu’s impending inauguration as Governor is part of an elaborate scheme to evade a by-election in Nairobi.
IEBC had set the date for the Nairobi by-elections on February 18, with several candidates having expressed interest in the seat.
The poll agency had said that the campaign period will run between January 18 and February 15.