A Nyeri resident has sued Governor Mutahi Kahiga for nominating his deputy, arguing that a law that is supposed to guide him in filling the position is yet to be approved by Parliament.
Benson Njuki said the governor’s move to appoint Caroline Karugu was irregular and an infringement of the Constitution.
Through lawyer Muhoho Gichimu, Mr Njuki told Justice Jairus Ngaah that the County Assembly’s Committee of Appointment had already vetted Ms Karugu and is set to table its report on May 2, 2018.
The court heard that the governor filled the vacancy following an advisory opinion by the Supreme Court dated March 9, 2018, that paved the way for governors to appoint deputies.
But the lawyer said when the office of Nyeri deputy governor fell vacant, there was no law in place and therefore the Supreme Court’s decision cannot benefit Mr Kahiga.
But speaking during the launch of early childhood development training for caregivers and the Sh40 million Elimu bursary fund yesterday, Mr Kahiga asked the county assembly to fast-track the appointment of Dr Karugu as his deputy.
The vacancy in Nyeri occurred after Mr Kahiga was sworn in as the county boss following the death of Wahome Gakuru on November 7, 2017.
“At the time the deputy’s office fell vacant, the Constitution of Kenya did not have any provision for the filling in of the said position and neither was there any legislative provision,” said Mr Muhoho.
Ms Karugu, 38, is awaiting the county assembly approval. But the lawyer said even the whole vetting process was irregular for lack of constitutional threshold.
According to the proposed law, a governor will make the appointment of a deputy within 14 days of the office becoming vacant, but with the approval of the county assemblies.