Ruaka Tragedy: Building Owner Arrested at JKIA

  • A building in Ruaka near Fortune Club area collapses on Thursday, November 27, 2022.
    A building in Ruaka near Fortune Club area collapses on Thursday, November 27, 2022.
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  • The owner of a 6-storey building that collapsed in Ruaka has been arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while attempting to leave the country. 

    According to Kiambu County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha, the suspect had been in hiding for four days before attempting to flee. 

    On Thursday, November 17, the building collapsed on a neighbouring house, killing two family members who were asleep at the time. Their children, however, escaped the tragedy. 

    A six-storey building in Ruaka near Fortune Club area collapses on Thursday, November 17, 2022.
    A six-storey building in Ruaka near Fortune Club area collapses on Thursday, November 17, 2022.
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    While addressing the media at the scene of a building in Ruiru, Kiambu County that collapsed on Monday morning, the commissioner affirmed that the owner, engineers and county officials may be charged due to the deaths and damage to the properties. 

    “There is loss of life and damage of property, people died in Kirigiti and Ruaka so there are so many things that we are looking at,” the commissioner stated. 

    The commissioner sounded a stern warning on unscrupulous agents and contractors and affirmed a multi-agency team would be formed to inspect the state of buildings in a bid to avert such incidents from occurring. 

    He also faulted the Judiciary for allowing such individuals to go scot-free instead of convicting and placing them behind bars. 

    "We respect the independence of our judiciary but we cannot win this fight alone, we are requesting them to help us deal with this impunity, we are all serving the same people,” he noted. 

    The Ruiru incident marks the third building that collapsed in a span of five days. 

    According to the National Construction Authority (NCA), 3 out of 10 buildings under construction in Nairobi county have been found to be non-compliant. 

    In a bid to crack the whip, Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi disbanded the technical committee responsible for the approval of building applications and inspection of the construction of buildings. 

    He also affirmed that strict action would be taken on contractors who were responsible for sub-standard buildings. 

    “I have directed that an audit be carried out on all buildings under construction in the county, with a focus on their safety,” he noted. 

    Entrance to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.
    Entrance to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.
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