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Fire halts business at City Hall

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 2 – Operations at City Hall in Nairobi were suspended for several hours on Thursday morning following an explosion of a power transformer at the basement.

The Kenya Power transformer started smoking and caused panic amongst members of the public and staff who were quickly evacuated.

Town Clerk Philip Kisia told journalists that they switched off electricity in the entire complex, paralysing all their operations for the sake of safety.

“The problem was caused by an overload of a transformer which we host here but the fire people were here in a record three minutes and they have rectified the problem,” the Town Clerk said and added that “our services will be interrupted for a while but we will restore it shortly.”

Police officers and council askaris had a hard time restraining members of the public mainly operators of public transport who had gone to pay for monthly parking ticket fees.

Most of them turned rowdy and insisted they will remain in the queues even after they were told that cashiers will not be able to receive money from them.

Others shouted at the Town Clerk, urging him to order his askaris to stop harassing public transport operators who have not paid parking fees.

Most public transport operators prefer paying monthly parking fees to avoid having their vehicles clamped down.

“If the council cannot receive money from us, it is not our fault. They should then stop harassing us at the terminus. The Town Clerk should give that order because it is not our problem,” one tout queuing at the council’s banking hall yelled.

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Mr Kisia, however, called for calm and assured that their services would be restored “as soon as possible.”

The council collects millions of shillings daily from parking fees and other mandatory licenses among other charges.

Most offices at the council were filled with smoke following Thursday’s incident.

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