Plans for a gubernatorial by-election in Nairobi County had a spanner thrown into the works on Friday, January 15 as former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s Deputy Governor nominee Ann Kananu Mwenda was vetted at the Nairobi County Assembly.
The Chief Officer for Disaster Management revealed how she would tackle various issues affecting Nairobians including waste management, traffic snarl-ups, congestion, housing and criminal cartels at City Hall.
The courts had on the morning of Friday, January 15 rejected activist Okiya Omtatah’s application to stop the vetting exercise, about an hour before it began.
Sonko, who was impeached, was also opposing Kananu’s vetting despite having nominated her as Deputy Governor in January 2020.
“I am aware that the petition stating that my nomination had been withdrawn therefore I should not be vetted by the Assembly was sponsored by Sonko, who does not want to be replaced as a governor even after being impeached,” Kananu told Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).
Kananu’s appointment in 2020 was blocked as then County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi wrote to Sonko informing him that due process was not followed.
In seeking to block Kananu’s vetting, Sonko claimed that there was a plot for Kananu to be vetted after which she would be sworn in as Deputy Governor and, subsequently, Kananu would take over as Governor once the Acting Governor Benson Mutura’s 60-day acting period lapsed.
“The issues involving these petitions revolve around an act which is to be committed… Ann Kananu is not elected and is unknown to the people of Nairobi and the sovereignty of the people is on the test,” stated lawyer Wilfred Nyamu for Sonko.
During her vetting, Kananu told MCAs that she was capable of addressing long-standing challenges that affect service delivery in the city.
On matatus, she stated that she wanted Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) moved out of the Central Business District (CBD) to ease congestion.
She vowed to spearhead implementation of the Garbage Collection Act and push for conversion of waste into energy.
Kananu also declared her support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). She stated that as a member of the President Uhuru Kenyatta-led Jubilee Party, she was fully aboard the train.
She further promised to work closely with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) if appointed, an outfit which clashed with the former Governor on multiple occasions.
“I will work together with NMS to make sure whatever plans are put in place are accomplished,” she asserted.