Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu will have to wait a bit longer like her predecessor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko, before she gets a deputy after the court suspended the swearing-in ceremony.
The High Court temporarily halted the swearing-in of Paul Mutunga Mutungi as the substantive Deputy Governor of Nairobi County through a ruling delivered on Friday, November 26.
Making the ruling, Justice Hedwig Ong’undi issued the temporary orders until the case filed by human rights activist, Okiya Omtatah, is heard and determined.
“To preserve the substratum of this matter temporary orders of prohibition prohibiting Paul Mutunga from taking the oath of office as Nairobi city county deputy Governor and or assuming or occupying the office of the Nairobi city county deputy Governor pending the inter-parties hearing of this application,” the Judge ruled.
The court went ahead to issue restraining orders against Kananu from making the appointment of Mutunga before the case is heard and determined.
Omtatah, in his petition, challenged the eligibility of Mutunga to hold public office while still facing a graft case that is still pending at the High Court.
“As a person facing active graft charges in the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court, Paul Mutunga Mutungi is ineligible for appointment as Deputy Governor Nairobi City County,” he argued
Omtatah further claimed that the nomination process of Mutunga was flawed. His petition also noted that the vetting process did not follow the laid down legal procedures.
Prior to the nomination, Mutunga was a second-hand clothes seller in the country’s largest open air market of Gikomba.
The 47-year-old was born in Thika, Kiambu County, before he relocated to Nairobi where he attended Aquinas Boys High School for his O-levels.
He later went to Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology where he graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Disaster Management and International Diplomacy.
“After high school, I became a hawker and started selling second-hand clothes in Gikomba. That’s how I earned a living back then,” Mutunga told Nairobi County Assembly during the vetting process where he was approved for appointment as the substantive deputy governor.
He first took a stab at politics in 1997 when he was elected Councillor for Mbotela Ward. He was re-elected in the same position in 2002.
Between 2007-2012, Mutunga was nominated as a Councillor under the Party of National Unity (PNU). He continued playing a vital role in the Nairobi County Assembly after devolution serving in different positions including in the Finance, Budget and Appropriation Committee.
He prides himself to having been among the change-makers in Nairobi county.