Even as Nairobi governor Mike Sonko was nominating lawyer Miguna Miguna to take up the position of deputy governor, it was meant to hit a snag for flouting the constitution. Article 78(2) of the constitution prohibits persons holding dual citizenship from serving as state officers. Sonko’s move has also brought to the fore the underlying political differences undertones in the ruling party about the 2022 succession politics.
Nairobi city politics appear to be murkier and Mike Sonko the country’s capital boss seems to have spinned them even more with his chicky appointment of a man that has previously not hard soft words for him.
Should Sonko’s decision have sailed through then it would have been contested in court as a blatant contravention of the law as article 78(2) of the constitution prohibits persons holding dual citizenship from serving as state officers.
“A state officer or a member of the defense forces shall not hold dual citizenship,” In this case article 260h of the constitution lists the deputy governor as a state officer
Interpretation of state office
Member of a county assembly
Governor or deputy governor of a county,
Member of the executive committee of a county government.
In respect to the constitutional articles, Miguna would first have to renounce his Canadian citizenship and regularize his Kenyan citizenship before he undergoes any vetting.
Sonko’s unexpected choice of Miguna, a man twice deported by his bosses, was the clearest indication of the bitter split in President Kenyatta’s party exposing the vicious battle over 2022 succession in the jubilee party as the flamboyant governor has been blaming state operatives of usurping his powers including intending to influence the choice of his deputy.
Sonko reportedly made the cheeky nomination without consulting the party’s top leadership to rebuff his detractors but seasoned lawyer George Kithi argues Sonko may have done it intentionally to send a strong message irrespective of whether it would sail through.
Nearly eight months since he was sworn in, Sonko is yet to complete forming his administration. Chief Officers who are the accounting officers are yet to take up office and appointing a non-friendly deputy is viewed as delay tactic too.
But just hours before the surprising nomination, the national government took over key county functions. The Kenya defense forces and NYS are set to be part of garbage collection operation.
Sonko has been on the spot for poor services, including bad roads, insecurity in the city center, and influx of hawkers, traffic snarl-ups and poor garbage collection. Jubilee deputy party leader David Murathe also waded into the matter accusing Sonko of engaging in sideshows to evade an impeding impeachment.