Flamboyant lawyer Miguna Miguna is actually ineligible to hold public office in Kenya even if the state restores his Kenyan citizenship. This is because the Constitution of Kenya 2010 is very particular about who can and cannot hold public office (and state office for that matter) in the country as far as their citizenship is concerned.
Miguna Miguna needs Kenyan citizenship in order to run for the Nairobi City County gubernatorial by-election that was necessitated after the impeachment of an equally flamboyant ex-governor Mr. Mike Mbuvi Sonko.
Mr. Sonko was legally impeached on December 18, 2020 after a Senate hearing in which he was accused of engaging in corruption as well as abusing his office. Currently, former Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly Benson Mutura is the acting Nairobi County governor after being sworn-in on December 21, 2020, just three days after the impeachment of Mr. Sonko.
Mr. Mutura will discharge his duties as the acting governor for Nairobi County pending the outcome of the by-election which is slated to take place on February 21,2021 when the new governor will be elected.
It is this upcoming by-election that has aroused the interest of “general” Miguna Miguna who is in exile in Toronto, Canada. It is worth noting that this is not the first time Mr. Miguna has expressed interest of being the Nairobi County boss. In the 2017 general election, Mr. Miguna contested hoping to be the Nairobi County governor but was defeated by the now deposed ex-governor.
But according to the current Kenyan Constitution, particularly Section 31 (1) and (2) of the Integrity and Leadership Act;
- Subject to Article 78(3) of the Constitution, a State officer who acquires dual citizenship shall lose his or her position as a State officer.
- A person who holds dual citizenship shall, upon election or appointment to a State office, not take office before officially renouncing their other citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011,
So essentially, Mr. Miguna, if successful, will need to renounce his Canadian citizenship before he can be sworn-in as the next governor of Nairobi City County. This is because section 260 classifies “county governors” as State Officers.
There is no doubt that the exiled Toronto-based lawyer is fully aware of the rule but may still be running because he intends to do one of the following: 1. Renounce his Canadian citizenship if he wins the gubernatorial elections or 2. He has no intention of renouncing his Canadian citizenship because he will conduct half-assed campaign which will not be enough for him to win, but he will milk the media attention awarded to his candidature.
Yesterday, the Thirdway Alliance party nominated Mr. Miguna as the flag bearer for the Nairobi County gubernatorial elections. This came a week after Miguna had on December 19 announced his interest to run for Nairobi governor’s seat moments after the IEBC set the date for the by-election.
Thirdway Alliance national chairman Miruru Waweru said Miguna is the best bet to reclaim the capital city from what he described as ineptitude.
“Nairobi deserves leadership devoid of ineptitude, unbridled lust and gluttony for public resources which has defined it for the last eight years,” said Waweru.
Waweru said Miguna is the right choice because he has consistently fought for including integrity, visionary and transformative leadership, elimination of corruption and development for all.
On his part, Mr. Miguna confirmed that he is indeed contesting for the Nairobi County gubernatorial elections.
“Yes, it is true. The march for Nairobi’s liberation is on. I strongly urge all compatriots to mobilise. Viva!” Miguna tweeted.
Whether the flamboyant lawyer will be able to win or not is anyone’s guess. Just like any other election in Kenya, there are going to be a plethora of other candidates contesting for the same seat.
Impeached former Kiambu County governor Ferdinand Waitutu submitted his intention to run for the Nairobi gubernatorial election. Mr. Waititu is running as an independent since none of the major political party allowed him to run on their ticket.
But just a moment ago, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has put up a statement saying that impeached governors will not be allowed to run for the same political office they were impeached from.
“The commission considers a person is disqualified from holding public office if the person has as been dismissed or otherwise removed from office for contravention of Chapter 6 of the Constitution or its enabling legislation, in accordance with Article 75(3) of the Constitution,” EACC said.
The EACC‘s statement locks out Mr. Waititu and Mike Sonko as both were impeached as governors of Kiambu County and Nairobi City County respectively.