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Sifuna dares Sakaja in Embakasi gas explosion stand-off

By Sammy Waweru February 6th, 2024 2 min read

Politics has seemingly taken centre stage following the recent gas explosion in Nairobi’s Embakasi East constituency with politicians engaging in blaming each other instead of joining hands to assist the victims and their families.

The explosion at Mradi settlement area next to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has killed at least six people and injured 300 others.

President William Ruto has ordered the arrest and prosecution of government officials who neglected their duties leading to the fatal accident.

Meanwhile, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna has accused Governor, Johnson Sakaja of failing to provide leadership.

Amid reports that the County boss had contributed a paltry Sh280,000 in support to the victims, the vocal Sifuna threatened to refund the cash, alleging the amount is way too low.

Sifuna, who doubles up as the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) secretary general further accused Sakaja of playing politics with the victims of the explosion.

“Someone who has our disaster management funds telling us we pick Sh10,000 (per family) shows how unconcerned he is,” claimed Senator Sifuna while addressing the victims.

ODM leader Raila Odinga was present.

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino announced Mr Odinga contributed Sh1 million towards the drive to support the survivors, an amount he had matched.

Sifuna added that ODM-affiliated lawmakers had mobilised close to Sh800,000 for the victims, while the party had contributed Sh3 million.

“Honorable Raila Odinga, I thank you on behalf of the Mradi people. You gave us Sh1 million, Babu Owino gave us Sh1 million, ODM MPs gave out Sh800,000 to the area MP (Babu Owino), and as a party, we have raised over Sh3 million,” Mr. Sifuna explained while condemning Nairobi County leadership over what he termed as laxity in addressing the incident.

Sifuna further said he was ready to refund Sakaja’s contribution.

“Sakaja, I want to refund the Sh280,000 that you contributed. My office is at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), and that Sh280,000 you want to blindfold people with, come I will send it to you. It can be accommodated on the phone,” said the Senator.

Sifuna also wondered why Sakaja’s government okayed the registration of a gas refilling point next to a residential estate.

The National and Senate Assembly Standing Energy Committee is expected to summon the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), a state agency, following the explosion.

Governor Sakaja, who jetted into the country last night, has announced an immediate crackdown on illegal gas businesses in residential areas across Nairobi County.

He visited the affected area and consoled with the victims families.

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