Kenya: Sonko Blames School Building Collapse on Graft at City Hall

23 September 2019

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has blamed the collapse of a building at Precious Talent School on Monday morning on rogue county officials. The governor accused the officials of issuing building permits illegally.

He also accused the Ministry of Education of negligence. In a statement on Monday afternoon, Governor Sonko revealed that he had unveiled a ring of crooked officials in the Nairobi City County Planning Department who would collude with developers put up buildings illegally.


"Following numerous complaints from land owners, property developers and the general public against the Nairobi City County Planning Department, I commissioned a comprehensive systems audit that exposed the activities of rogue officers within my administration," Mr Sonko said in the statement.

The governor also claimed that the officers would sometimes switch off the digital system installed at City Hall to by-pass the official channel in issuing building approvals.

"In August 2019, I suspended the County Chief Officer for Planning Justus Kathenge, who was singled-out as the ring leader of the unlawful and repugnant activities," the county boss said.


"(Mr Kathenge) went ahead to lie to me that the system had been switched off by the World Bank when the audit commenced, an allegation that was refuted by the bank, as they had handed full access and control over the system to the Planning Department," the statement said.

Mr Sonko, however was quick to point out that he had inherited the committee from the previous regime, run by former county chief Evans Kidero.

"It is also important to note that the inspection and approval of primary and secondary schools falls under the Ministry of Education," Mr Sonko said.

He promised to personally support parents that lost their children and those whose children were injured. He promised to facilitate the rebuilding of the classroom.

A classroom at Precious Talent School on Ngong Road in Nairobi caved in and killed seven pupils while injuring 57 others on Monday.

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