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Kidero to sack quality assurance officers over collapsed Huruma building – VIDEO

Governor Evans Kidero has said quality assurance officers will be fired for failure to ensure the demolition of the house in Huruma that killed scores of people and injuring several others in Nairobi’s Huruma on Friday evening.

The building had been earmarked for demolition in 2014.

“Some county officials responsible for quality assurance will have to be sacked because of this. They will also have to face the law,” Dr Kidero said when he visited the site of the collapsed building.

CONCEAL ‘X’ MARK

The owner, who reportedly owns three other buildings in the area, hired people to conceal the ‘X’ mark usually placed on structures marked for demolition.

On Sunday, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero admitted that corruption and politics were responsible for the existence of substandard buildings in the city.

“The fact that he managed to build the house near a river and manage to have people reside in it yet there are officers responsible for these areas just tells us how rife corruption is. Some powerful people in the country have also been helping these people to bar the county from demolishing these structures,” he said.

He said several buildings had been earmarked for demolition but the owners and developers usually seek court orders to block the county from pulling down the structures.

Mr Kidero said there was no approval for the construction of the collapsed Huruma building, which belongs to a Samuel Kamau.

He added that the house was built using substandard materials that could not support it.

Survivors rescued from the collapsed building and neighbours said they did not know the owner of the building.

“All I know is that he has three other buildings here and they are managed by a caretaker. I have never seen the landlord,” said Mr Martin Oloo, one of the tenants.

VACATE NOW

The collapsed building was located in Ngei, adjacent to Mathare river, which separates Mathare from Huruma.

It was wide enough to have four entrances and contained 301 two- roomed units and common bathrooms as well as toilets at each of the four corners of the building.

It is, however, not clear whether all the units were occupied.

Rescue operations conducted by the military, the Kenya Red Cross and the National Youth Service were hampered by lack of space — the building was in between others and the only available space were footpaths.

People living in adjacent buildings were on Saturday asked to vacate them, as they also seemed unstable.

Governor Kidero said the county government had set aside Sh2 million to help the victims and the survivors of the tragedy.

So far, 19 people have been confirmed dead while 135 have been rescued. Some 65 people have been reported missing and are suspected to be trapped under the rubble.