, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Nairobi Provincial Commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu has been accused of being a hands-off administrator after he told a probe team over demolitions of buildings on flight paths in the city that he was out of the country when the exercise took place and was not aware of what transpired.
The PC told the Mutava Musyimi-led joint parliamentary committee investigating the recent spate of demolitions near airports that he is currently trying to find out what transpired in his absence.
Ndirangu however, confirmed that he chaired a meeting of the Provincial Security and Intelligence Committee (PSIC) that deliberated on the action plan for the demolitions.
He told the committee that the decision to demolish the houses near flight paths was already discussed in 2004 and notice issued to people in the areas to vacate.
He said that the role of the provincial administration was to offer security to the parties that wanted the houses demolished.
Ndirangu said: “As a chairman of the PSIC my role was to chair the meeting that deliberated on how we would operate, and so our role was to provide security in the execution of a government decision.”
It was his failure to know much of the facts about the demolitions of the slums near airports that seemed to anger members of the committee, particularly its chairman.
Musyimi said: “Listening to you (PC), you sound fairly hands off, you sound so ivory tower, armchair, academic and completely not aware of what is happening on the ground.”
He told the commission that the demolitions had been put on hold pending a review and that he was not aware of any casualties.
Musyimi said that the committee had received information on casualties although he did not provide further details.
“This conversation is so hard Mr PC if from where you stand there is no report on casualties while we know that people died,” Mutava said in response to the revelation by the PC that no casualty was recorded during the demolitions.
Ndirangu who has served as PC for two years denied that the demolitions were carried out in a selective manner and to protect the interest of any private developers.
The PC will appear before the committee again on Wednesday alongside Nairobi Provincial Police Chief Antony Kibuchi, his deputy Moses Nyakwama and the Embakasi divisional police chief to shed more light on the demolitions.
The PC is expected to tour the affected areas of Kyangombe, Mitumba and Eastleigh before he appears before the parliamentary team for the second time.
He has been instructed to produce copies of the minutes of the meeting that decided the demolitions ought to be conducted and the correspondence from the Permanent Secretary in at the Ministry of Internal security Francis Kimemia that authorized the PC to provide security arrangements.
The committee is scheduled to meet the Permanent Secretaries in the ministries of Internal Security, Defence, Local Government, Transport and Lands on Tuesday morning before meeting the respective ministers later in the afternoon.