Ole Kina takes deputy governors' power battle to court - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 7 December 2019

Ole Kina takes deputy governors' power battle to court

Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina
As protests on deputy governors declaring themselves acting county chiefs gain momentum, Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina has asked the High Court to determine whether they can take over when their bosses are charged with graft.
In a suit filed at the High Court on Friday, Mr Ole Kina cited the cases of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and Samburu’s Moses Lenolkulal, who have been barred from office.
The Narok senator noted that there are constitutional obligations in the counties, which require immediate attention.
“This matter is of great public interest because of the constitutional effect of service delivery to the people of Kiambu and Samburu,” said his lawyer, Mr Omwanza Ombati.
"Pending determination of this case, an order be issued directing that the deputy governors [of Kiambu and Samburu] continue to act as governor in accordance to with the County Governments Act, in view of the continued absence of the governors."
Mr Ole Kina sued the Attorney-General and listed Kiambu and Samburu as interested parties.
He said in his court documents that Chief Justice David Maraga should appoint a bench to hear the case.
The senator noted that Section 6A of the County Governments Act says county governments shall be located in respective physical locations.
He added that since Mr Waititu and Mr Lenolkulal have been denied access to their offices, they are considered as ‘absent’.
This absence, he said, has made it impossible for the counties' finance bills to be signed into laws, a role that is for governors only, so the people have been subjected to an indefinite wait.
Mr Ole Kina also noted that powers belonging to governors, under the County Governments Act, cannot be exercised in ‘absence’ so attempts to do so should be considered illegal.
As such, he said, deputy governors should be allowed to serve in acting capacity while their bosses are absent, but not to nominate, appoint or dismiss employees assigned to the governor under the Constitution or other written law.
He wants it declared that deputy governors can act as county bosses in the absence of a governor except in performing these specific roles.
Earlier, Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki criticised deputy governors James Nyoro (Kiambu) and Julius Leseeto (Samburu) for declaring themselves acting governors.
Prof Kindiki termed their declarations unlawful, saying that being barred from stepping into office does not make a governor cease to hold office since the post is not yet vacant.
According to the Deputy Speaker, such an assumption of office is of no legal consequence unless the substantive governor legitimises it in writing.
Mr Nyoro and Mr Leseeto declared themselves as acting governors after their bosses were charged with corruption-related offences.

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