Nairobi Governor, Mike Sonko, on Wednesday, suspended several county officials including one of his most trusted CEC, Charles Kerich, over the Precious Talent School tragedy which resulted in the death of eight pupils.
In a statement on his Facebook page, the Nairobi County boss stated, “I assured Nairobi residents that as the Governor, I will not leave any stone unturned until we reverse the effects of the impunity that was spearheaded by a few rogue officials within the Urban Planning Department.
Sonko added: “I am convinced beyond doubt that drastic measures have to be taken to reverse the effects of years of flouting Physical Planning Regulations and restore order and sanity before illegal structures claim more lives as has repeatedly happened before.”
Apart from Kerich, Sonko also took action against 15 other officials, mostly from the lands and planning departments.
The suspended officials include:
- Charles Kerich, the current County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Finance and Economic Planning, who is the immediate former CECM for Lands and Urban Planning
- Mohammed Dagane – CECM Health (responsible for general public health and safety)
- Justus Kathenge, suspended County Chief Officer for Urban Planning (to continue in suspension)
- Jusper Ndeke, Director Planning Compliance and Enforcement
- Dominic Mutegi, Development Management Director
- Ochanda Ondari Fredrick, Assistant Director Enforcement
- Ruth Waruguru, Director Urban Planning
- Thomas Dudi, Assistant Director Planning
- Simon Onyango, Development Officer (regularization of buildings/approval of architectural plans)
- Alex Mucheru, Development Control (overseeing approvals of buildings and schools on behalf of public health and safety)
- Mackline Saitera, Development Control (approval of building plans and school inspection)
- Edna Guantai, In-charge of approval of public buildings and schools on behalf of public health
- Joyce Kyengo, Dagoretti South Sub-County Administrator
- Lucy Wairimu Munyika, Dagoretti South Sub-County Commander.
- Sylivia Mwikali Nthinga, Dagoretti South Sub-County Planning Officer
- Okal Kennedy, Ngando Ward Administrator
At the same time, Sonko announced the appointments of two new heads to “ensure minimal disruption of services at City Hall”.
- Pauline Kahiga as the Acting CECM Finance and Economic Planning
- Veska Kangogo as the Acting CECM Health
He said that every official in his administration must be ready to take personal responsibility for their sector and work and be prepared to carry their own cross just as I am always ready to carry my own and assume overall responsibility as County CEO.
In July, Sonko announced that he had appointed Kerich, who was serving as Finance and Economic Planning Executive, as “Super County Executive Committee Member”.
Sonko tasked the suspended CEC with supervising all the 10 departments at City Hall.
Kerich, a former Editor in Chief at Radio Africa Group, has held four positions in Nairobi County Government since his first appointment in November 2017 as head of ICT and E-Government Docket.
In February 2018, he moved to the Lands docket in yet another reshuffle by Sonko.
In April 2018, Sonko asked the no-nonsense Kerich to take over duties in Finance and Economic Planning Department after Sonko sacked Danvas Makori.
Following the Pumwani Maternity uproar in which 11 dead babies were found stored in boxes in a room at the facility, Sonko appointed Kerich as acting health CEC after sacking Vesca Kagongo.