The country learned with great despondency the demise of the Governor Nyeri County Wahome Gakuru.
This is the second Governor of Nyeri County to die in office after Governor Nderitu Gachagua, who died in February this year.
The question in minds of many is who takes office following the demise of a sitting Governor?
According to the Kenyan constitution, in case of the demise of a sitting Governor, the Deputy Governor takes office for the remainder of the term of the Governor.
There will be no by-elections as expected by many.
In case the Deputy Governor is unable to act, the speaker of County Assembly shall act as the County Governor.
There will be elections 60 days after the County Speaker assumes office.
Here is the full excerpt of the Kenyan Constitution on the same.
Chapter Eleven-Devolved Government.
“(1) The office of the county governor shall become vacant if the holder of the office–
(b) resigns, in writing, addressed to the speaker of the county assembly;
(c) ceases to be eligible to be elected county governor under Article 180(2);
(d) is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for at least twelve months; or
(e) is removed from office under this Constitution.
(2) If a vacancy occurs in the office of county governor, the deputy county governor shall assume office as county governor for the remainder of the term of the county governor.
(3) If a person assumes office as county governor under clause (2), the person shall be deemed for the purposes of Article 180 (7)–
(a) to have served a full term as county governor if, at the date on which the person assumed office, more than two and a half years remain before the date of the next regularly scheduled election under Article 180 (1); or
(b) not to have served a term of office as county governor, in any other case.
(4) If a vacancy occurs in the office of county governor and that of deputy county governor, or if the deputy county governor is unable to act, the speaker of the county assembly shall act as county governor.
(5) If a vacancy occurs in the circumstances contemplated by clause (4), an election to the office of county governor shall be held within sixty days after the speaker assumes the office of county governor.
(6) A person who assumes the office of county governor under this Article shall, unless otherwise removed from office under this Constitution, hold office until the newly elected county governor assumes office following the next election held under Article 180 (1).”
It is in the light of this that NYERI DEPUTY governor Mutahi Kahiga to be sworn in the as governor.