NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – Nairobi’s Disaster Management Chief, Ann Kananu, was Friday sworn in as the city’s Deputy Governor following her vetting and approval by the County Assembly.
Kananu was vetted by a 10-member appointments panel on Friday morning in a session that lasted barely an hour with the team led by Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo presenting its report to ward representatives at 11am who approved her nomination.
The newly inaugurated Deputy Governor had been nominated in January 2020 by then Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who was later impeached in December 2020. Kanunu was not however vetted after a court suspended proceeding to consider the nomination pending the determination of a suit challenging Sonko’s decision.
The Deputy Governor hailed President Uhuru Kenyatta for supporting her nomination, pledging to work closely with the executive-appointed Nairobi Metropolitan Services to which four devolved functions were surrendered by the former administration.
“I want to thank my party and my party leader President Uhuru Kenyatta for having faith in me to serve in the position. I affirm my commitment to serve the people of Nairobi with utmost dedication,” she said.
“I further commit to work closely with Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Major General Mohammed Badi and his team to ensure the transferred functions are further strengthened and supported to ensure meeting the aspirations of the people of Nairobi,” she added.
Kananu is banking on the Assembly’s approval to become the Governor subsequent to her installation as Deputy Governor.
Her inauguration is seen as part of an elaborate plan to forestall a high-stake by-election in Nairobi which had been slated for February 18 but later stayed by the court.
Following the impeachment of Sonko in December 2020, Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura assumed office as Acting Governor with the law requiring the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to hold an election within sixty days.
Kananu’s anticipated ascension to governorship has been a subject on public debate, with a section of lawyers terming the campaign to install her as governor as Deputy Governor and thereafter Governor a breach of the law and Article 182 (5).
“Let it be on record that what Nairobi County Assembly has done in vetting and approving Anne Kananu as DG and obviously making her governor – with the urging of Uhuru and Raila – is a constitutional coup,” constitutional lawyer Waikwa Wanyoike said.