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Sakaja suspends three officials over collapsed building in Kasarani area

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja walks monitors rescue efforts after a 6 story building collapsed in Kasarani, November 15, 2022. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has suspended three officials over the collapse of a building in Kasarani that killed four people.

The three officials are Senior Superintendent of Building Michael Agoya, enforcement officer  Catherine Wairimu and Chief Superintendent Building Beatrice Kimathi.

The three have been sent home pending investigations over allegations of negligence in their duties.

In a statement, Mr Sakaja said the officials have been given 10 days to respond to the allegations, among them inadequate supervision.

“If I find any officer from Nairobi County culpable, at any point, for allowing construction of non-compliant developments to continue, they will go home and be charged,” the governor said

“The developer of the building in Kasarani is responsible for the deaths and we will work with the DCI to hold him accountable,” he added.

The seven-storey building that was under construction collapsed Tuesday afternoon.

Sakaja said the developer did not have permits from the county government and had continuously ignored enforcement notices to stop construction.

The county government has also forwarded the names of the suspended officials to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for further investigations.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the building had no statutory approvals from Nairobi City County nor from National Construction Authority (NCA).

NCA has since closed the construction site describing it as dangerous and hazardous.

Construction workers at the site said that they started noticing cracks in the building in the morning before raising the alarm.

And Sakaja has reconstituted the Urban Planning Technical Committee (UPTC) which was initiated in 2009 to succeed the Town Planning & Works Committee.

The multi-sectoral committee will facilitate the evaluation and consideration of applications for development permission submitted to the planning authority.

The team comprises Brenda Nyawara (Architectural Association of Kenya), Engineer Jane Mutulili (Engineers Board of Kenya), Christine Ogut (The Institution of Engineers of Kenya), Dr Abdulmalik Tuesday Gichuki (Kenya Alliance of Resident Association).

Others are Racheal Kisiangani (Kenya Institute of Planners), Stanley Karaya Kimani (Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company) and Margaret Njuki (Nema).

The county will be represented by the heads of departments and technical officers from urban planning, roads, public health, lands and survey.

The Kasarani case was the second building to collapse in Nairobi within a week.

On Monday, November 7, an eight-storey building that was also under construction collapsed in Tassia, Embakasi, killing one person.