Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko says he is ready to nominate a new deputy governor to replace Polycarp Igathe who resigned from the position in January.
Mr Sonko on Wednesday said he had whittled down his long list of 10 to four names and he is only waiting to consult with Jubilee Party leadership on who to pick.
Those in the running are former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru, corporate guru Agnes Kagure, lawyers Karen Nyamu and Jane Weru.
“I prefer a woman for the position,” he said in an interview with Milele FM.
“I have four names in mind but I am waiting for consultations with top Jubilee party leadership who are my bosses to see who to choose.”
The City Hall boss also explained that the nomination of controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna was only done to respect the Supreme Court advisory.
In its ruling, the top court in the land in March held that governors are free to pick fresh nominees within 14 days to replace their deputies who resign, are impeached or die in office.
The Miguna pick, he added, was also to spite individuals who put pressure on him and wanted to blackmail him over who to settle on for the position.
“I want to apologise. I appointed him (Miguna) out of anger, bitterness, and also there was a lot of pressure, intimidation and blackmail and so I gave them Miguna,” he said.
On the long wait for a substantive deputy governor, which is now in its eight month, Mr Sonko said he is still waiting for the outcome of two Bills in Parliament and Senate over the appointment of a DG to see what next.
“I respected the advisory opinion and nominated Miguna but he was rejected. However, the advisory opinion is silent on what to do next after a rejection,” he said.
Ms Kagure has been the front-runner for the position and was at one time touted as the next DG before lawyer Miguna was nominated for the position.
A gender activist and insurance executive, Ms Kagure has been voted Agent of the Year for seven years by the Association of Kenya Insurers.
And in 2011, she was featured among the Top 40 Women under 40 by the Business Daily.
Ms Nyamu contested for the Jubilee Party’s woman representative ticket in last year’s General Election but eventually lost to Rachel Shebesh who was defeated by Nasa’s Esther Passaris.
Little is known about the new entrant in the race, Ms Weru, who is a lawyer with a master’s in NGO management from the London School of Economics.
She is currently an executive director of Akiba Mashinani Trust, an NGO.
Ms Wanjiru, the televangelist-turned-politician, unsuccessfully ran against Mr Sonko for the Jubilee Party’s ticket for Nairobi governor.
In the run-up to the August 2017 poll, she was touted as Mr Sonko’s possible running mate but this never came to be as Jubilee chose Mr Igathe, the corporate executive.
Mr Igathe, who quit on January 31, claimed that he had failed to earn the trust of Mr Sonko.
“Without fear, favour or ill will I step down to avoid abusing or betraying my oath of office to Kenyans, Nairobians and my family. Thank you for the encouraging support given to me so far,” he said in a post on Twitter.