EACC rejects Nairobi Deputy Governor nominee Paul Mutunga Mutungi
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has objected to the appointment of Paul Mwangi Mutunga as the Nairobi Deputy Governor citing integrity issues.
In a letter to Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu and Speaker Benson Mutura, EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak noted that the Nairobi County Assembly approved Mutunga’s appointment without reference to the commission regarding his suitability.
The commission on Thursday delved a blow to Governor Kananu’s first major appointment, casting a dark cloud over the appointment of the former Mbotela councillor as the fourth Nairobi deputy governor.
In a letter that comes barely a week after Mutunga was vetted and approved by the county assembly, Mbarak noted that the assembly jumped the gun in the consideration of Mutunga for Nairobi’s second in command.
The letter addressed to the Speaker Benson Mutura and copied to Governor Kananu, read in part that: "It has come to the attention of the commission that the county assembly is considering the nomination of Paul Mutunga Mutungi to the position of deputy governor. The commission wishes to bring to your attention that the nominee was charged in Milimani anti-corruption court, file number acc8/2019 with corruption offences committed in Nairobi County government.”
Mbarak also highlighted that Mutunga was facing other charges including unlawful acquisition of public property, money laundering, conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, dealing with suspect property among others.
In addition, EACC has recommended that the governor and the county speaker go back to the drawing board stating:
“In view of the above, the commission objects to the nomination of Mutunga as the deputy governor and advises the assembly and the governor to reconsider the nomination.”
Last week on Friday, the High Court issued temporary orders preventing Mutunga from taking the oath of office.
This after human rights activist Okiya Omtatah filed an application challenging the eligibility of Mutunga to hold the office of deputy governor of Nairobi.
High Court Judge Hedwig Ong’udi heard that Mutunga’s appointment was rubber-stamped by the county assembly without clearance from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and other bodies.
Mutunga's name was approved by 89 MCAs after a vetting exercise led by a 10-member select committee on appointments, which is chaired by Speaker Mutura.
Jubilee party Secretary General Raphael Tuju had written to IEBC seeking clearance for Mutunga; his letter was however shot down by the electoral body.
In a reply dated November 22, Acting Commission CEO Marjan Hussein informed Tuju that for the commission to clear Mutunga, his appointment as deputy governor should be made and submitted by the governor of Nairobi and not the party secretary general.
In 2017, Mutunga vied for the Embakasi South Parliamentary seat under the Jubilee party but lost to ODM’s Julius Mawathe.