Why Governor Sonko suspended his County officials

Governor Mike Sonko addressing the public at a previous function.

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has acted with speed following the collapse of Precious Talent School along Ngong Road in Nairobi by firing 16 county officials.

Among Key officials suspended is County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning Charles Kerich. Mr. Kerich once served as Nairobi County Executive Committee Member for Lands and Urban Planning before moving to Finance docket.

 “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.

“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  Governor had accused some of his officers of approving substandard buildings in the County.

Sonko said on Monday through a press statement that he had tried to expose the corrupt officials in his office who have been flouting the Physical Planning Act and zoning regulations with impunity. His accusations came in a few hours after the school collapsed, killing 8 pupils aged between eight to 15 years.

“Through the audit, I established that on more than one occasion, the rogue officers would switch off the digital system at City Hall to bypass the official channel in issuing building approvals,”

Apart from Kerich, the Governor also suspended 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.

Other include; 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.

Ms. Edna Guantai, In-charge of approval of public buildings and schools on behalf of public health was not spared, 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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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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