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BY NAMULONGO PETER,19TH DEC,2020-The inauguration of Benson Mutura as Acting Nairobi Governor was on Friday deferred to Monday, December 21, after the presiding Magistrate missed the 10 am to 2 pm swearing in timeframe set out in law.
Mutura, who is the Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly was to be sworn in on Friday morning so as to assume the office of the county governor for a period not exceeding 60 days following the impeachment of Governor Sonko.
A by-election is to be conducted within sixty days of his inauguration in accordance to the Constitution.
The assumption of office committee, Members of the Assembly, members of the Executive and other county staff were seated at the venue by 10am waiting the swearing in of Mutura, but the Master of Ceremony and the County Assembly’s Minority Whip Peter Imwatok, at around 2.20pm, told the gathering that they had no choice but to postpone the function after the Magistrate arrived late.
While citing the law, Imwatok noted the swearing in ceremony is supposed to take place not before 10am and not later than 2pm, the Magistrate however arrived a minute past 2.
“The presiding Magistrate was stuck in traffic at Mombasa Road and got here late and since we can’t afford to break the law we will have to postpone the swearing in process,” stated Imwatok.
The Senate on Thursday upheld Sonko’s impeachment by the County Assembly, sealing his removal from office at the end of a two-day impeachment trial on Thursday.
Under Article 182 4 and 5 a County Assembly Speaker assumes the Governor’s office where the Deputy Governor is unable to take over following a vacancy.
The law requires that a by-election is held within sixty days from the date the Assembly Speaker assumes the office of the Governor.
The Speaker is second in line after the Deputy Governor, in whose case the law allows service for the remainder of the governor’s term without a requirement for a by-election.
A Deputy Governor who takes over for a period exceeding half a term is deemed to have served a full term as Governor.
Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe however resigned in January 2018 citing Sonko’s lack of confidence in him.