Former Governor of Nairobi, Mike Sonko was dealt a blow twice on Thursday when the High Court dismissed two petitions against him. In one petition he tried to challenge his impeachment and in another contested Anne Kananu Mwenda’s nomination as deputy governor.
The High court has ruled that the County Assembly and Senate followed proper procedure in their removal of Sonko from office. The process was considered fair according to Kenyan laws, as it afforded him a hearing before removing him for non-criminal reasons.
“We do not find any external hand in the impeachment of Sonko… The impeachment of Sonko fully complied with the constitution and statutory requirements. We therefore find the two petitions lack merit and are hereby dismissed,” ruled the court.
In a unanimous judgement, justices Juma Chitembwe, Wilfrida Okwany and Weldon Korir ruled that Sonko’s conduct warranted his removal from office.
“We find that the conduct of Sonko does not meet the highest standard expected of a governor,” stated the judges as they faulted him for alleging that he was intoxicated before signing the Deed of Transfer of functions at State House
“The Deed of Transfer is an important document that cannot be seen to have been dealt with in circumstances where the Governor was not sure of.
This is in our view the violation of the trust bestowed upon the office of the governor by the electorate as it does not portray good governance and accountability and integrity as expected of a State officer,” noted the judges.
The judges dismissed all petitions against Anne Kananu Mwenda’s nomination, vetting and swearing in after observing that there was no requirement for the county assembly members to be physically present during impeachment. Considering COVID-19 which has seen virtual sessions introduced, it is now possible to conduct an entire trial without any of these legislators being physically present.
They ruled that the swearing in of Kananu was constitutional despite an attempt by former Governor Mike Sonko to withdraw her nomination.
“The nomination, vetting, approval and swearing in of Kananu as Deputy Governor was constitutional and complied with applicable laws. Consequently, we find that all petitions challenging her ascendancy are without merit and are hereby dismissed,” ruled the court