, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2- The owner of the six-storey building that collapsed in Huruma was on Sunday night arrested even as the death toll rises to 21 people after 5 more bodies were retrieved from the site.
National Disaster Management Unit Incident Commandant Pius Masai on Monday said so far 135 have been rescued as the operation continues.
“So far, 21 bodies have been recovered,” Masai told Capital News. “The rescue teams are still carrying on with the operation.”
Nairobi Police boss Japheth Koome said the owner of the building – Samuel Kamau – was arrested after he surrendered at Pangani police station.
“He is in our custody…he will be taken to court where several charges will be levelled against him,” he said.
The rescue team led by the military has since started using heavy machinery to lift up debris from the site as hope of finding any more people alive diminishes.
Over sixty people are still missing but rescue effort is still ongoing.
There has been blame game following the collapse with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero attributing the tragedy to corruption and lack of title deeds.
He said the County efforts to streamline the housing sector have been negatively hampered by tribal politics often introduced by a section of City political leaders.
“There are number of problems; one is that title deeds have been given even of river banks, so when you are going to bring down a building, they rush to court to stop you,” he said.
The building was built on a riparian land on the banks of Nairobi River and came down during the heavy rains on Friday night.
“Corruption is a big issue. Last year in January when a house collapsed here in Huruma, when we arrested the person, people at very high levels intervened so that he is not taken to court,” Kidero said, without naming anyone.
The Government has already set up a helpline numbers– 0722 505 647 and 0715 820 219 — to assist friends and relatives trace their missing kin.