Igathe: Yes I formally resigned but Assembly has never released me

Thursday, January 28th, 2021 00:00 |
Former deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe.

The battle for the leadership of the Nairobi City County Government deepened yesterday with former deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe asking the High Court to determine whether his resignation in January 2018 was formalised. 

While acknowledging he actually resigned, Igathe says the county Assembly’s failure to recognise his resignation is a matter that should be determined by the court. 

Igathe is responding in a case in which a Nairobi voter — Patrick Kiiru — is challenging the county gubernatorial by-election slated for February 18.  

He says having formally tendered his resignation, he commenced other career engagements away from the public office he held pending all formal responses. 

Legal formalities

“With regards to the legal steps to be taken to formalise my resignation, I am not aware if the same were conducted,” read Igathe court papers. 

Igathe says his resignation letter was not acknowledged by then Speaker of the Assembly.

“The legal effect of the failure to formalise or recognise my resignation and the failure by Nairobi County or any public institution to conduct any legal formalities to conclude my resignation is a matter to be determined by the court,” he says.

Igathe had served as Governor Mike Sonko’s deputy on the Jubilee Party ticket from August 8.

“I served in the position of Deputy Governor until I formally tendered my resignation by way of letter dated January 12, 2018 to Speaker of the Nairobi City County Assembly,” he told the court.

In his case, Kiiru argues that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has no right to call for a by-election to fill the vacancy in the office of the governor especially when there is a deputy governor in place.  He says Igathe should automatically take over as his resignation was never communicated to IEBC.

“The impending by-election as gazetted by IEBC is premature and unconstitutional,” says Kiiru. 

The gazette notice was preceded by the impeachment of Sonko in December but Justice Anthony Mrima and Justice James Makau of the constitutional division has since suspended the notice following a case filed by Sonko, the acting Governor Anne Kananu and Okiya Omtatah.

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