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High Court temporarily stops swearing in of Kananu

The High Court has issued a directive to temporarily stop the swearing-in of Anne Kananu Mwenda as the governor for Nairobi county.

The move comes after the Law Society of Kenya moved in court on Monday morning to stop the entire process.

Justice Anthony Mrima issued the directive on Monday. In their argument, LSK noted that the county needs to hold a by-election within the 60-day timelines as stipulated under Article 182 (5).

LSK has requested the court to stop any plans regarding the swearing-in of Ms. Mwenda as a substantive county boss. The event takes place as Benson Mwaura, the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker, who has acted in a city boss’s capacity since late December.

Following the impeachment of Mike Sonko, the state relinquished powers to her on Monday. However, LSK President Nelson Havi opposed the swearing-in of Kananu as the Capital’s deputy governor.

In an interview, the LSK boss told local media the swearing-in of Kananu was against the Constitution.

The ceremony took place at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) after Kananu, who was nominated by Sonko, was vetted and approved by a committee consisting of 10 members.

Despite Justice Mrima dismissing two applications from activists, Habil Kongo and Okiya Omtatah, the county assembly members carried on with the vetting process.

Earlier, Sonko had claimed he had withdrawn Mwenda’s nomination in a letter dated December 7, 2020. The aim was to stop Kananu from succeeding the former county boss.

However, when responding to queries from the county assembly members, Ms. Mwenda said the letter was blank.

“The video aimed at letting the public know I had received a letter. However, I can confidently confirm that the letter was blank with no authorizing stamp or signature. The letter wasn’t even dated December 7,” Kananu noted.

Swearing in of Kananu locked out candidates who had shown interest in the position. Previously, a by-election was slated for February 18, 2021, by IEBC.

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