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Senate orders globe-trotting Nairobi governor arrested, fined Sh500k

The Inspector General of police Japhet Koome has been asked by a Senate committee to arrest Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja for failing to appear before the Energy Committee.

A source from the county told Nairobi News that the county boss was out of the country and that was the reason that he failed to appear before the committee on Thursday, April 11.

Senator Wahome Wamatinga of Nyeri heads the committee, and Sakaja is expected to answer questions about the Embakasi gas explosion.

Sakaja was summoned by the Senate Energy Committee that was looking into the Mradi gas explosion in Embakasi that occurred on February 2, leaving 6 dead and over 200 people injured and has accused him of frustrating the investigation.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna said the committee wanted IG Koome to appear before it on April 25 to shed more light on the incident and also resolved to fine the governor Sh500,000.

“The Senate Energy Committee investigating the Mradi gas explosion in Embakasi has resolved to fine Governor Sakaja another Sh500,000 and asked the IG of Police to arrest him and produce him before the committee on April 25, 2024,” Sifuna said on Thursday.

After the fine, Mr Sakaja issued a statement and stated that appearing before the Senate is a constitutional requirement that he takes seriously.

“It is the same members who announced that I was out of the country on Monday who are now up in arms that I am away. I have appeared severally and will continue to do so. I have no reason not to answer to respond to any questions raised on Mradi or FY 20-22 audits. Sensationalizing a rescheduling and making the Senate appear as if it acts in vain is what belittles the house. Many appearances by other invitees have been rescheduled due to travel, infirmity or prior booked official engagements,” wrote on his official X account.

Committee member and Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina at the same time called out the individuals allegedly shielding the governor and urged law enforcement to uphold justice by taking appropriate action.

“Whoever is protecting Sakaja Johnson must know he is an accomplice and must look in the mirror and let justice prevail,” Ole Kina said.

Thursday’s development came days after the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) put Nairobi Sakaja on notice for disregarding invitations and summons from the legislative body.

Sakaja had failed to appear before the CPAIC to address audit queries, particularly regarding the utilization of Sh76 billion from 2019 to 2023.

In February, Mr Sakaja was on the spot, with leaders questioning whether he was an absentee boss, even as he rebuffed the claims insisting his trips abroad had yielded immense fruits.

A section of leaders questioned his resolve in dealing with scarcity of clean water, deplorable roads, clearance of garbage and breakdown of sewage systems as well as the revenue collection impasse.

According to the leaders, the situation is so dire that some leaders have even taken issue with his billboards, inscribed with his smiling photos, which they claim are more visible than the county chief appearing in key places to respond to the plight of Nairobians.

The absence of the governor during the Embakasi East constituency fire tragedy at Mradi, raised eyebrows about his whereabouts.

Although he turned up five days later, victims said most of the systems do not work and his officers might have failed him, even in his absence.

Mr Sakaja always has relied on his social media accounts to update city residents on the latest news on anything that is affecting the city.

Former governor Mike Sonko, was famous for being around the city whenever there was tragedy.