The ongoing dispute over the city’s gubernatorial seat has gone a notch higher as former Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe has joined by asking the High Court to determine whether his resignation three years ago was formalized.
Mr. Polycarp Igathe says that although he handed in his resignation letter on January 12, 2018, he was not aware whether the legal steps to formalize his resignation were conducted. His query has officially thrown the dispute into a new spin.
“That the legal effect of the failure to formalize or recognize my resignation and the failure by the Nairobi County or any public institution to conduct any legal formalities to conclude my resignation is a matter to be determined by this honorable court in my humble view,” Polycarp Igathe said in an affidavit.
Pending the determination of several cases, the High Court has already stopped the by-election as announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Similarly, pending the determination of a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), the court also stopped Deputy Governor Anne Kananu Mwenda from being sworn in as the Governor.
Lawyer Peter Kiiru in the case, argues that IEBC has no right to call for a by-election to fill the position because Mr. Polycarp Igathe’s resignation was never formalized. As required by the Constitution, he said the resignation was not communicated to the Speaker of the Assembly.
In a letter to then-Governor Mike Sonko and copied to the Speaker of the County Assembly, Mr. Polycarp Igathe says in the affidavit that he resigned on January 12, 2018. He says neither Mr. Sonko nor the Speaker acknowledged his letter.
Following Mr Sonko’s impeachment by the County Assembly and the decision endorsed by Senate, the Nairobi Governor’s position officially fell vacant.
The County Speaker Benson Mutura was made the acting Governor, pending the election of the substantive holder. But Ms Kananu was hurriedly vetted and sworn in, in a process that took about five hours.
LSK then went to court arguing that the move to vet and swear her in undermines the right of the people of Nairobi to elect a Governor and Deputy Governor of their choice.
Justice Weldon Korir will be presiding over the cases that are to be mentioned today.