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Furious Sonko suspends four top county officials over Pumwani saga

By COLLINS OMULO September 19th, 2018 2 min read

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has suspended County Secretary Peter Kariuki and acting Health executive Vesca Kangogo over insubordination in the Pumwani Hospital saga.

During an impromptu visit of the hospital on Monday, Sonko found the bodies of 12 babies in boxes.

He raised the alarm by streaming the raid live on his Facebook page.

Others who were suspended on Tuesday were Health Chief Officer Mahat Jimale and County Attorney Lydia Kwamboka.


In their places, Mr Sonko appointed other officials in acting capacity. They are Pauline Kahiga (County Secretary), Charles Kerich (health), Mohamed Saleh (health chief officer) and Legal Affairs Director David Aseko (county attorney).

Larry Wambua will act as the County Executive Committee member for Devolution and Public Service, the docket that Ms Kangogo headed.

Earlier today, Ms Kangogo and Mr Jimale contradicted the Governor regarding the conduct of workers at Pumwani.

The two defended the workers against allegations of negligence, pushing to the fore the question of whether the hospital has proper facilities and a sufficient budget.

Regarding the suspensions, the governor’s press service director, Mr Elkana Jacob, said: “After exhaustive discussions with the County Executive Committee Members and Senior County Officials, and in view of the unanimous resolution on how to handle the issue, the Governor has noted with concern the contradictory statements and actions by a section of senior officials of Nairobi City County Government.”


In a statement on Tuesday, he added: “This clearly contravenes the principle of collective responsibility and amounts to insubordination.”

Mr Jacob noted “gross negligence and mismanagement of the facility”.

A crisis meeting followed Sonko’s surprise visit and a decision was made for the Pumwani Hospital board to be dissolved.

The Cabinet also resolved to interdict the medical superintendent, her deputy, the hospital administrator and the doctor on duty, who had not reported to work.


Those suspended will stay away for investigations to be carried out by a multiagency team formed by the Cabinet. They risk losing their jobs.

After the raid, Mr Sonko noted: “I want to categorically state that human life must be respected no matter the case. Stern action will be taken against anyone found to be sabotaging the good services offered to our mothers and sisters who come to deliver in this facility.”