Acting Nairobi County Governor Benson Mutura who doubles up as the Assembly Speaker has relinquished power to Anne Kananu Mwenda.
Ms Mwenda was sworn in as Nairobi Deputy Governor on Friday after successful vetting by the assembly.
The speaker said he handed over to Ms Mwenda on grounds that Nairobi has a substantive Deputy Governor who should assume to the office given the vacancy that exists.
“I feel honoured to have served … now that my time to leave has arrived I thank the almighty God for the opportunity, ” Mutura, who took over as acting governor on December 21, 2020, told members of the press on Monday.
Ms Mwenda, on her part, stated that the county’s assumption committee is working on the power transfer process before taking over officially as Governor.
“We have the assumption (of the Office of Governor) Committee that is working on the process. We will communicate,” she said.
She promised to work closely with Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) boss Major General Mohamed Badi to transform the city.
“I am not a politician, and I will not start being one. I’m focused on bringing a new spirit of cooperation, collaboration, partnership and mutual respect with all organs of government. Nairobi is now back on course, ” the now acting county boss said.
With the instruments of power now in Ms Mwenda’s hands, it’s now a matter of when and not if she will be sworn in as Nairobi County Governor, to succeed Mike Mbuvi Sonko, who was impeached in December last year, amid questions on legality of the process.
Ms Mwenda, who had been nominated by Sonko was successfully vetted by a 10-member committee of the county assembly on Friday morning.
This was after High Court judge Justice Anthony Mrima dismissed two applications by activist Okiya Omtatah and Habil Kongo challenging the process.
She took over from Polycarp Igathe who resigned on January 12, 2018, citing lack of trust from his then boss, Sonko.
Sonko had earlier claimed to have withdrawn Ms Mwenda’s nomination in a letter dated December 7, 2020, a move that was aimed at blocking her from succeeding him.
But while responding to queries from Members of County Assembly (MCAs), Ms Mwenda said the letter was “blank”.
“The purpose of that video was to show the public that he had sent the letter to me but I can confidently say the letter was blank with no authorising signature or stamp. The letter was not even dated December 7th,” she said.
The rushed swearing-in of Ms Mwenda shut hopes for candidates who had expressed interest in vying for the governor seat in a by-election that had been slated for February 18, 2021.
The by-election was last Thursday suspended for a second time by the High Court following a petition filed by Ms Mwenda.
Sonko had earlier obtained orders suspending the by-lection after he filed a petition challenging his removal from office.
He later indicated that he was ready to withdraw the case to allow the mini-poll to go on as planned.