Sonko Cracks Whip on Nairobi Fire Department Director Over Lang’ata Fire

January 30, 2018

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has suspended a senior official following the Sunday night inferno that killed four people and left 14,000 others homeless in the informal settlements of Kijiji in Lang’ata estate, Nairobi.

The County Boss has sent on compulsory leave, the Director in Charge of the Fire Department, Brian Chunguli Kisali, for poorly coordinating the operation.

In a letter dated January 29, 2018, Kisali was instructed to submit a hand over report to the Acting County Secretary and proceed on compulsory leave with immediate effect.

He was accused of negligence in handling the incident where it is reported four fire engines ran out of water a few minutes after arriving at the scene, leaving the raging inferno to spread.

“Reports reaching this office indicate that you did not carry out your duties and responsibilities as required of you as the officer in charge of Fire and Rescue services. You were aware that a fire broke out at Langata Southland and your team lacked direction and coordination resulting into deaths and loss of property due to mismanagement of the fire disaster,” read part of the letter.

The Director was given a 14-day period to show cause why he should not be summarily dismissed from service.

“In the meantime, it has been decided that you be and are hereby interdicted from exercising the duties of your office with immediate effect pending finalization of your case,” the letter continued.

Sonko referred to Section 44(4) of the Employment Act, which provides for the summary dismissal of any employee who willfully neglects his duty or carelessly and improperly performs his duty.

“It is contemplated that you be interdicted from the service but before this is done, you are called upon to Show Cause why this action should not be taken against you,” Sonko said in the letter signed by the County Secretary Leboo Ole Morintat.

The inferno, which began at around 8pm was contained at 1:30am through a joint effort by the Nairobi Fire Brigade, National Disaster Management Unit and local residents.

The displaced families have sought refuge at Ngei Primary School, with Deputy President William Ruto promising to spend Sh70 million towards their resettlement.

“What happened last night is very unfortunate. It was bad luck. But we now must seek a solution to water scarcity and ensure that people are able to rebuild their houses.

“The NYS will aid the reconstruction of houses, establish access roads, improve drainage and facilitate a return to normalcy. Rapid response and preparedness are a must during emergencies to avoid loss of lives and property.” Ruto said while visiting Kijiji residents yesterday.

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