Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has suggested that the Constitution needs to be amended to extend the time in which a deputy governor is sworn into office should a governor die while still serving his or her term.
Speaking at the Serena Hotel, where he and other governors were addressing journalists on Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Sonko said county residents and the nation should be given adequate time to mourn the departed before an assistant takes over the full gubernatorial functions.
“I don’t want to politicise the death of our colleague, but again, this issue of once a governor dies his deputy has to take over immediately… In fact, I have just learnt that the Nyeri deputy governor, Mutahi Kahiga, has to be sworn in today or tomorrow,” said Sonko.
“I think something has to be done. I am not conversant with that, but if you ask me, the Constitution has to be amended – probably we have to go for a referendum. It is very wrong that even before the mourning period lapses, the deputy governor has to take over.”
According to Chapter 182 (2) of the Constitution on Vacancy in the Office of the County Governor, the deputy governor assumes full gubernatorial duties upon death of the sitting governor.
Governor Sonko eulogised the late Wahome Gakuru, who died in a grisly accident on the Thika-Kenol Highway Tuesday morning as a “humble, joyous and courageous colleague”.
“It is a very sad incident. We are going to miss a very great friend,” he said. “But again, myself, in my own capacity as the Nairobi County Governor, I am calling for the DCI boss, Ndegwa Muhoro, to commence thorough investigations into this sad tragedy.”