‘Igathe Should Be Nairobi Governor’: Voter Moves To Court To Block By-election

January 7, 2021

The scramble for Nairobi governorship took another twist after a voter moved to court to have Polycarp Igathe sworn in as county boss.

The petitioner Patrick Kiiru argues that the former Deputy Governor never formally resigned and as such, he ought to have assumed office for the remainder of the governor’s term as stipulated under Article 182(2) of the Constitution.

In court documents, Kiiru says Igathe’s resignation on January 12, 2018, was never formally communicated to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). He says the same was not communicated to the County Speaker, hence the seat cannot be vacant.

Kiiru says IEBC has no right to call a by-election in Nairobi since a deputy governor is already in place.

“The impending by-election as gazetted by the IEBC is premature and unconstitutional,” he says.

“One of the ways a vacancy can occur in the office of the governor and by extension that of the deputy governor is through resignation. Such resignation ought to be communicated in writing to the office of the speaker of the county assembly,” he argues.

Kiiru wants the court to declare Gazette Notice 10914 of 2020 issued by IEBC unconstitutional and order the commission to issue him with documents pertaining to the purported vacancy of the office of the deputy governor.

Justice Anthony Mrima, who on Monday suspended the Gazette notice calling for a Nairobi by-election in February, recused himself from Kiiru’s case citing close relation to one of the lawyers handling the case.

“I am closely related to George Kithi and it is not fair for me to hear the case. The best thing is to recuse myself and order the file be placed before another judge,” he said.

Justice Mrima directed that the matter be mentioned before a new judge on January 19 to fix a hearing date. He also directed Kiiru to serve Sonko with his papers after parties said they were not opposed to including the impeached governor in the case.

Following his resignation, Polycarp Igathe served as the Chief Commercial Officer of Equity Bank between May 2018 and September 2018. He was promoted to Managing Director five months later.

The job-hopping executive currently serves as the Vice President in charge of Sales and Marketing in Vivo Energy Africa.

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