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Sonko suspends ‘super minister’ Kerich after collapsed school building claimed 8 pupils

Charles Kerich (pictured) who was in July assigned oversight responsibilities over cabinet colleagues is among 16 City Hall officials suspended following Monday’s Precious Talents School tragedy that left 8 pupils dead/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has suspended 16 officials among them County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Finance, Charles Kerich, who was in July assigned oversight responsibilities over cabinet colleagues, following the Precious Talents School tragedy that left 8 pupils dead.

The Governor in an earlier statement linked the tragedy to flouting of physical planning regulations and impunity that he said was spearheaded by some rogue officials within the planning department.

“I commissioned comprehensive systems audit that exposed the activities of rogue officials within my administration, who have been flouting the Physical Planning Act and zoning regulations with impunity, while running an extortion ring to provide building approvals that do not meet the set standards,” stated Governor Sonko after the tragic incident occurred.

Through a statement Wednesday afternoon, Sonko said the suspension is necessary so as to allow for impartial investigations in his quest to ensure justice is served to the affected families.

Sonko said that every official in his administration should be ready shoulder responsibility of their respective departments, adding that incompetence will not be tolerated.

“As I have stated countless times before, my administration shall not condone or tolerate any form of corruption, incompetence or lethargy that may jeopardize the lives of, or negatively affect service delivery to, Nairobi residents in any way whatsoever,” he stated.

Former Chief Officer Justus Kathenge who also served in the previous administration was adversely mentioned by Governor Sonko as being the ringleader of a cartel that has been running unlawful and repugnant activities in City Hall’s planning department.

Kathenge was suspended two months ago.

The entire planning committee was also suspended.

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Sonko also suspended CEC Member for Public Health and Safety, Mohamed Dagane, Director of Planning, Jusper Ndeke, Director in charge of Urban Planning, Ruth Waruguru

Others suspended are Mackline Saitera who is in charge of approval of building plans and school inspection; Joyce Kyengo Dagoretti, South Sub-County Administrator; Sylivia Mwikali, Dagoretti South sub-county Planning Officer and Okal Kennedy Ngando Ward Administrator.

Pauline Kahiga (CEC Member for Devolution and Public Service) and Vesca Kangongo (CEC Member for Environment) have been appointed in acting capacity to fill the Finance and Economic Planning, and Health dockets respectively.

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