Governor Mike Sonko suspends 16 officials over tragic school accident

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (PHOTO: FILE)
Nairobi governor Mike Sonko has suspended 16 county officials following Monday accident, which left eight pupils dead, and a number injured.

Key among the officers suspended include Charles Kerich, the current County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning

Kerich is also the immediate former County Executive Committee Member for Lands and Urban Planning.

 “I assured Nairobi residents that as the Governor, I will not leave any stone unturned until we reverse the effects of the impunity that was spearheaded by a few rogue officials within the Urban Planning Department,” said Sonko in a statement.

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“I am convinced beyond doubt that drastic measures have to be taken to reverse the effects of years of flouting Physical Planning Regulations and restore order and sanity before illegal structures claim more lives as has repeatedly happened before.”

The Monday accident occurred at the Precious Talent School in Ngando Ward, Nairobi County resulting in the death of eight pupils.

Other officials suspended include Mohammed Dagane – CECM Health (responsible for general public health and safety), Justus Kathenge, suspended County Chief Officer for Urban Planning, Jusper Ndeke, Director Planning Compliance and Enforcement, and Dominic Mutegi, Development Management Director.

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Ochanda Ondari Fredrick, Assistant Director Enforcement, Ruth Waruguru, Director Urban Planning,  Thomas Dudi, Assistant Director Planning, Simon Onyango, Development Officer (regularization of buildings/approval of architectural plans), Alex Mucheru, Development Control (overseeing approvals of buildings and schools on behalf of public health and safety), and Mackline Saitera, Development Control (approval of building plans and school inspection) have also been suspended.

Others affected include Edna Guantai, In-charge of approval of public buildings and schools on behalf of public health, Joyce Kyengo, Dagoretti South Sub-County Administrator,  Lucy Wairimu Munyika, Dagoretti South Sub-County Commander, Sylivia Mwikali Nthinga, Dagoretti South Sub-County Planning Officer and Kennedy, Ngando  Ward Administrator.

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The governor in the meantime has appointed Pauline Kahiga as the acting CECM Finance and Economic Planning while Veska Kangogo is the acting CECM Health.

The scene at Precious Talent Academy where 8 pupils died after classroom collapsed
Precious Talent Academy owner, Moses Wainaina, on Monday, claimed that the Nairobi County Government might have played a part in the collapse of a classroom in the school.

Wainaina stated that the county administration dug a sewer line behind the classrooms which weakened their foundations.

He acknowledged that it was a good intention from the county government to contain sewerage but unfortunately, an accident happened as a result of their efforts.

“They had good intentions to help this school but an accident has happened,” he stated.

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Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna, who was present at the scene described the tragedy as saddening.

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Mike SonkoCharles KerichNairobi CountyPrecious Talent School