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Johnson Sakaja: The developer is to blame for the collapsed building in Kasarani

The collapsed building. [Twitter, Kenya Red Cross]

It is now emerging that the Kasarani building developer did not get any permit from the County government of Nairobi, Governor Sakaja has said.

Addressing the media when he visited the site, Sakaja pointed a finger at the developer of the seven-storey collapsed building.

“This building had an enforcement notice starting from last year and this February. In fact on the said day, yesterday, National Construction Authority (NCA) were here and they closed down the site. But the contractor knows that in such cases you just pay a few people here and there and you go on,” said Sakaja.

Sakaja has promised that the County Government will take action.

“First of all, the developer must be charged in court. In fact we will liaise with the Cabinet Secretary and the police and the DCI to find that developer who knows he should not be building in this way. The standard of the materials are wrong, he did not get any permit from the County,” said Sakaja.

Sakaja went as far as blaming the developer for murder.

“There was an enforcement notice, but because of impunity he decided to go on. He needs to be charged with murder, because that is murder,” said Sakaja.

He also issued a stern warning to other developers.

“All of those who know they’re going on with such construction, I want to put them on notice. Just pull down those buildings yourselves or let us come for you. Because in search for profits, you’re endangering lives. How much money can replace the lives of those whom we’ve lost,” said Sakaja.

Cabinet Secretary for Lands Zachariah Mwangi said it is believed that more people could still be trapped.

“National Construction Authority (NCA) were here yesterday and this was the tenth time they were paying a visit to the site to stop the construction but it went on due to unknown reasons,” said Zachariah.

He promised action will be taken.

“As a government we are going to make sure that this kind of affair is not repeated.” said Zachariah.

So far three bodies have been retrieved from the seven-storey building that collapsed in Kasarani, Nairobi. Six are undergoing treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), and rescue mission is ongoing.