NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – The High Court has stopped the prosecution of a senior Nairobi County Government official over the Huruma building collapse that claimed the lives of 52 people.
Justice Joseph Onguto barred the State from prosecuting the Director of Planning, Compliance Enforcement Justus Mwendwa until an urgent suit he has filed contesting charges of manslaughter and negligence of duty is determined.
Mwendwa claimed that he was not employed by the County Government at the time of construction of the seven storey building.
Justice Onguto however pointed out that pending hearing of his petition, Mwendwa Kathenge should not plead to the criminal charges of manslaughter and negligence.
Mwendwa’s lawyer Okongo Omogeni however said that the Director of Public Prosecutions has already filed criminal charges against the applicant, saying that if the applicant proceeds to plead to the criminal indictment, his constitutional right will be violated.
Omogeni submitted that by the time the applicant was appointed on May 30 2014, the building had already been finalised and occupied by tenants.
He stated that for this reason, the applicant was not blame for the collapse of the building.
The building came down on April 29, 2016 at Huruma Estate in Nairobi.
The further judge directed that the application be served upon the DPP and Inspector General of Police and the matter be heard inter parties on June 27.