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Ireri appointed acting Nairobi acting county attorney to replace disgraced Kwamboka

Byadmin

Aug 8, 2023

Nairobi County Governor Johnson Sakaja has appointed lawyer Christine Kwamboka as the new acting County attorney replacing the controversial long serving Lydia Kwamboka.

Ireri, who until her appointment was working in the County legal department will now be in charge of county legal affairs and will be tasked with among other roles, drafting of legislation emanating from the Nairobi County Executive Committee, perform prosecutorial functions in cases involving violation of Acts of the County Assembly of Nairobi City and shall publish all legislation passed by the Nairobi City County Assembly.

Ireri was first appointed to the position in acting capacity by former Governor Mike Sonko in 2019 replacing another acting county attorney David Oseko after Sonko suspended Lydia Kwamboka.

The sack of Kwamboka, who was re appointed to the position by Governor Sakaja’s first cabinet last year, had been in the cards for long after Bunge La Mwananchi in January this year petitioned the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate and prosecute her for corruption allegations at City Hall.

The Bunge La Mwananchi, through Edward Githaiga accused Kwamboka of engaging in corrupt deals and occupying the office of the County Attorney illegally. In a letter addressed to the EACC Chief Executive Officer, Githaiga petitioned the anti-graft body to investigate the continued stay of Kwamboka in office.

Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) in July 2021 resolved to terminate the services of County Attorney Lydia Kwamboka. The ward representatives adopted a report by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that recommended for termination of the contract of Kwamboka for abuse of office and operating without a valid advocate practicing certificate.

The Peoples’ Parliament known as Bunge La Mwananchi has petitioned the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate and prosecute Lydia Kwamboka for corruption at City Hall.

The Bunge La Mwananchi President Edward Githaiga accused Kwamboka of engaging in corrupt deals and occupying the office of the County Attorney illegally.

In a letter addressed to the EACC Chief Executive Officer, Githaiga petitioned the anti-graft body to investigate the continued stay of Kwamboka in office.

On July 29th, 2021 Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) resolved to terminate the services of County Attorney Lydia Kwamboka.

The ward representatives adopted a report by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that recommended for termination of the contract of Kwamboka for abuse of office and operating without a valid advocate practicing certificate.

The report stemmed from an investigation by the committee which had been probing a petition by John Mark Ojiambo who sought the removal of Kwamboka “on behalf of Kenyan citizens and Nairobi taxpayers.” Githaiga said Kwamboka’s conduct does not meet the provisions of Article 10 and Chapter Six of the constitution, hence she is unfit to hold office. Githaiga accused Kwamboka of making and authorizing payments despite being out of the office which he termed as stealing by servant calling for the investigations and prosecution of individuals who are behind aiding Kwamboka’s illegal continued stay in office.

He asked EACC to probe payments that were authorized by Kwamboka and the county’s Chief Finance Officer paid to Kwanga Mboya Advocates and freeze the Ksh51 million on December 21st, 2022 paid to the lawyer without following the law and financial audit procedures as laid down in the County Government Act pending investigations. The money was allegedly paid despite Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja giving orders stopping payments for pending bills

In 2018, a Nairobi resident had petitioned the county assembly to pass a vote of no confidence in Kwamboka over “incompetency and irregularity”.

The unnamed resident alleged that Kwamboka’s conduct does not meet the provisions of Article 10 and Chapter Six of the Constitution, hence she is unfit to hold office.

In a petition tabled in the House by Mowlem MCA Benson Mwangi in April 2018, Kwamboka’s appointment to the county attorney’s office was for a one-year contract that elapsed while she was on suspension.

“The said contract elapsed while the officer was under suspension and upon her return to the office six months later.

“Her contract was renewed without vetting, which is a requisite requirement for the award of a new contract vetting by the county assembly, considering that this office is equivalent to that of a County Executive Committee member,” he said.

Section Four of the Office of the County Attorney’s Act, 2020, provides for the office of the county attorney and requires that the officeholder be appointed by the governor, with the approval of the county assembly.

Kwamboka was vetted and her name was approved by the assembly in April 2018. Five months later on September 19, 2018, Kwamboka, alongside three county officials, was suspended by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, who accused them of insubordination over the Pumwani Maternity Hospital saga.

This was after the officials contradicted his assertion of negligence in the death of 11 infants whose bodies were found stuffed in paper bags at the facility.

Months later, the county attorney made a comeback at City Hall and according to the petition, her contract was renewed without vetting, a requisite requirement for the award of a new contract.

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