Top Stories / National
Wednesday, 08 Jun 2016 10:25 EATwmwaniki@kenyafreepress.com
The owner of the building that collapsed in Huruma last month, killing over 150 people, has been charged with 52 counts of manslaughter. Samuel Kamau Karanja appeared before Kilimani Court magistrate Joyce Ngandani and denied all counts.
Kamau had been arrested earlier together with his brother Henry Muiruri, but they were released upon depositing a cash bail of KSh500,000 each pending further police investigation. Kamau and Muiruri were being investigated alongside the National Construction Authority Director, Chrispas Ndinyo; the Director of Planning and Compliance at Nairobi County government Justus Kathenge; and Mathare Sub county administrator Seline Ogallo.
However, it is only Kamau who appeared before the court. Kamau and Muiruri inherited ownership of the estate, including the 6 storey- building that collapsed from their father who died in 1997.
Reading the charges, public prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki said the offence Kamau was facing carried a life sentence on conviction.
The collapse of Kamau's building in torrential floods sparked a campaign by the Nairobi County government to demolish houses built on wetlands or whose construction was identified as having not passed under stipulated approvals.
More than 70 houses were earmarked for demolition in Huruma, Roysambu, Zimmerman, Kahawa West, Umoja and Dagoretti among other estates. Several have been demolished.
Winfred is a student of journalism studies at the Technical University of Kenya currently on internship at the Kenya Free Press, specialising in education matters.