16 top Nairobi county officials suspended over school tragedy

16 top Nairobi county officials suspended over school tragedy
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16 top Nairobi County officials among them the County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning Charles Kerich have been suspended to pave way for a probe into Precious Talent School tragedy that happened Monday morning.

In a strongly-worded statement Nairobi Governor, Mike Sonko said his administration shall not condone or tolerate any form of corruption, incompetence or lethargy that may jeopardize the lives of, or negatively affect service delivery to, Nairobi residents in any way whatsoever.

Kerich who is one of his closest ally is the immediate former CECM for Lands and Urban Planning.

Eight pupils died at Precious Talent School after the walls of their classrooms caved in on them on Monday morning. 64 others were left nursing injuries.

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Engineers blamed poor construction for the tragedy. The owners of the school are accused of constructing an additional floor to the single-storey building without seeking approval, placing the pupils’ lives in danger.

“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. Given the foregoing, I have, therefore, suspended the following Nairobi City County Government officials with immediate effect, to facilitate impartial investigations that have commenced into this unfortunate incident and the conclusion of the ongoing comprehensive systems audit in the Urban Planning Department” Sonko said.

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.

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 are 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.

Pauline Kahiga replaces Kerich in an acting capacity while Veska Kangogo is the acting CECM Health. Their appointments take effect immediately.

“Every official in my administration must be ready to take personal responsibility for their sector and work, and be prepared to carry their own cross just as I am always ready to carry my own and assume overall responsibility as County CEO” Sonko warned.

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