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Focus on Uhuru as court bars Sonko from office : The Standard

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at a Milimani court during his bail and bond ruling. [George Njunge/Standard]
Focus now shifts to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the constitutional court after Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko was barred from office.

Yesterday, Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti ordered Sonko, who is facing a Sh380 million graft case, to stay away from office. The directive triggered a leadership crisis at City Hall, given Sonko does not have a deputy to act as governor for the time he will be on trial.
Yesterday, County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi told ward reps that they would have to wait for an advisory opinion from the office of the Attorney General to determine the next course of action.
Leadership vacuum
SEE ALSO :Uhuru launches construction of JKIA-Westlands Expressway“Following the ruling of the court this morning and the speculation on the leadership vacuum in the county, the Assembly will proceed on the scheduled recess as we await an advisory and for a recall for a special sitting pursuant to provision of the standing orders should the need arise,” said Elachi.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja implored Uhuru to urgently convene the Summit – a meeting of the 47 governors that the president chairs and which is deputised by the deputy president, to seek a way out of the constitutional crisis facing Nairobi County.
“There’s a constitutional crisis in Nairobi now. The president should now take the leading role to help navigate the situation. In the prevailing circumstances, the county government is operating on autopilot,” said Sakaja.
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“The president should convene the Summit urgently to discuss the options available in addressing the Nairobi matter even if the proposals will touch on amending the County Governments Act,” he said.
Sakaja announced that senators would seek an interpretation in court but will wait for the ruling of the Court of Appeal on two previous cases touching on Kiambu and Samburu governors.
SEE ALSO :Sonko wanted by anti-graft agency over ‘criminal’ pastThe senator said that although tough bail conditions were imposed on Governors Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) and Moses Lenalkulal (Samburu) by Justice Grace Ngenye and Justice Mumbi Ngugi respectively, Nairobi’s case is unique.
“These two counties have deputy governors. Nairobi has no DG. The senators will also be engaging the Council of Governors (CoG) through the chair, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) on the matter,” he said.
Sakaja called on Sonko’s cabinet to continue discharging their duties as required in law.
The CoG had at the weekend sought an emergency Summit meeting with the president to address the leadership crisis in the capital city.
The president’s Jubilee Party, according to insiders, is also reported to be planning to seek an advisory from the courts.
SEE ALSO :Chaos as Sonko fights cheating claims by EACCYesterday, former Jubilee vice chairperson and close ally of the president, David Murathe said Nairobi is the hub of the country’s economy and, therefore, the national government’s involvement is crucial in resolving the crisis.
Murathe made reference to a proposal in the Building Bridges Initiative that seeks to abolish Nairobi County and replace it with a Metropolis City.
“The management of the city county is important. This is a conversation we must have now,” said the former Jubilee vice chairperson.
He also said that the Assembly speaker cannot assume the role of a governor as the law clearly states that their role is limited to 60 days in preparation for a by-election in the event of a vacancy in the offices of governor and deputy.
But some Jubilee party ward reps in Nairobi insist that there is no leadership vacuum in the county and that Sonko is still governor.
SEE ALSO :Embattled Sonko losses bid to block corruption probeJubilee Party Majority Leader at the Assembly, Charles Thuo, insisted that normal operations of the county would continue even as they sought a legal interpretation from the Judiciary on how to proceed.
“We will seek a legal interpretation after consulting the party. In the event that the governor also appoints a deputy then we will call for a special sitting to vet the name of the candidate,” said Thuo.
Opposition ward reps, however, called for an extension of the plenary sittings to seek legal interpretation on the matter. They also hinted a possible impeachment.
Special sitting
Minority Deputy Chief Whip Moses Ogeto confided to The Standard that the opposition allied-ward reps would be calling a special sitting to discuss the crisis.
“We will be pushing for a special sitting because as we currently stand the county is stuck and we cannot allow the county to continue operating this way,” said Ogeto.
Minority Chief Whip Peter Imwatok blamed the Jubilee party for the crisis, arguing that the party failed to compel Sonko to appoint a deputy following the departure of Polycarp Igathe in January last year.
[Reporting by Roselyne Obala, Moses Nyamori and Josphat Thiongo]

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Nairobi Governor Mike SonkoSpeaker Beatrice ElachiSonko bailed out

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Khalwale on his own as Mudavadi, Wetang’ula to attend BBI forum : The Standard

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Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and former Sports CS Rashid Achesa inspecting Nabongo grounds ahead of the planned today rally at the venue. [File, Standard]
Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale could be humiliatingly on his own after leaders at Bukhungu Stadium confirmed that seats had been reserved for ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula and the two are to attend the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meeting at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega.

Speaking to KTN at Bukhungu Stadium, a Ford Kenya party official confirmed that his party boss was on his way to the venue and that a seat had been reserved for him.
“I can confirm the two leaders will be here, as you can see there are seats reserved for both Wetang’ula and Mudavadi,” he said.
If the two attend, it would confirm Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli assertion that no leader in western has the muscle to take him head on.
SEE ALSO :Boni Khalwale roughed up in KibraThe two had said they were not consulted and that they would skip the meeting that was to be attended by ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Khalwale who visited the Nabongo Grounds in Mumias town had affirmed the meeting dubbed Wstern Economic Forum, would go on unopposed, stating that he had mobilised local leaders from Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and Kakamega Counties and Vihiga Counties.
He said Mudavadi and Wetang’ula would attend the Mumias meeting.
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Western leaders have differed over the today’s BBI meeting with those allied to Deputy President William Ruto, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula terming it political.
Some claimed the meeting was to be used to endorse host Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as the community’s spokesperson.
SEE ALSO :Showdown looms as Big Two make about-turnThose in support of the BBI meeting chaired dismissed the allegations adding that the event was a BBI affair.
 The meeting was mooted at another meeting held at Atwoli’s rural home in Kakamega.
Those opposed to the BBI meeting questioned Atwoli’s mandate to speak for the Western region.
Giving up
By today 11 am, Khalwale and other Tangatanga allied politicians were nowhere to be seen at the Nabango Grounds as police sealed off the venue.
Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen has condemned the heavy police deployment, saying it shows clearly that BBI is not about uniting the country as claimed.
“Fellow Kenyans, BBI is the only way to end violence and politics of exclusion. We must create a nation of only one democratic idea. We’re uniting this country by force. We’ve deployed our officers to ensure that no other idea thrives, only BBI. Anyone defying will be dealt with ruthlessly,” he posted on his Twitter handle on Saturday.

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Boni KhalwaleMusalia MudavadiBukhungu StadiumMumias townMoses Wetangula

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Regional experts draft confederation constitution

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MOSES HAVYARIMANA

By MOSES HAVYARIMANA
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At least two constitutional experts and a legislative draftsperson nominated by each of the East African Community member states were expected at the consultation meeting on drafting the EAC political confederation constitution that kicked off in Ngozi province in Burundi last week.

After the committee of experts drafts the regional constitution, a Bill will be submitted to the Heads of State Summit for approval.

According to the chairperson of the committee, Benjamin Odoki, a draft constitution is expected in two years, in time for the proposed implementation of the confederation model by 2023.

The Political Federation—the pinnacle of the EAC Regional Integration—is the fourth step after the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union.

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If the constitution is adopted, partner states will begin ceding power to the confederation. Each partner state’s constitution will then be subordinate to the federation’s constitution

Even as Burundi is hosting the five-day meeting, its sour relations with Rwanda came to the fore as Kigali did not send a representative, prompting President Pierre Nkurunziza’s deputy spokesman Alain Diomede Nzeyimana to tweet “President Pierre Nkurunziza believes that the idea of a “Political Federation” will not be easy to realise given the absence of Rwanda in the consultations.”

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Commenting on Kigali’s absence, Rwanda’s EAC Minister Olivier Nduhungirehe said it would not hinder the process “since the absence of Burundi in EAC meeting hosted by Rwanda never impacted the EAC integration.”

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Labour court kicks out Mary Wambui : The Standard

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The Labour Court has nullified the appointment of former Othaya MP Mary Wambui (pictured) as chairperson of the National Employment Authority (NEA) board.
Justice Onesmus Makau yesterday said Wambui was unqualified and dismissed her appointment as irregular and unconstitutional as she does not meet the qualifications for the position.
The court quashed the Gazette notice on the appointment, with Justice Makau saying the authority needs a person with academic expertise.
SEE ALSO :Kenyans mock ex-MP Mary Wambui’s appointment”Her appointment to the board does not meet the constitutional requirements; it is therefore null and void. The Gazette notice is quashed. It is unlawful. A permanent injunction is issued barring her from being appointed to the post,” ruled the judge.
The case was filed by Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association, a lobby headed by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
According to the lobby, the former MP had severally admitted that she had limited education background.
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Section 10(2) of the National Employment Authority Act provides that a person shall be qualified to serve as the chairperson of the board if they have at least seven years’ experience in Human Resource Management or its equivalent.
However, there is no age limit.
SEE ALSO :A country of old peopleThe court heard that she did not have academic and professional qualifications to allow her run the office.
In a Gazette notice dated October 14, 2019, then Labour CS Ukur Yatani picked Wambui for the job, triggering an outcry from Kenyans.
Following the appointment, Wambui was expected to lead a team that will create job centres in all constituencies where youths would register, detailing their skills.
The authority is also expected to be a link between employers and potential employees by posting available vacancies on social media. 

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