Senate orders Nairobi governor on a world tour to be detained and fined Sh500k

The Senate Energy Committee has directed the Inspector General of Police, Japhet Koome, to arrest Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja for his failure to appear before the committee regarding the Embakasi gas explosion.

Sakaja was summoned by the committee, chaired by Senator Wahome Wamatinga of Nyeri, to provide answers about the gas explosion incident that occurred in Embakasi, resulting in six deaths and over 200 injuries on February 2.

Despite claims from a county source that Sakaja was out of the country and unable to attend the committee meeting on April 11, the committee accused him of obstructing the investigation into the incident.

In response, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna announced that the committee had fined Governor Sakaja an additional Sh500,000 and requested the IG of Police to arrest him and present him before the committee on April 25, 2024.

Sakaja defended himself, stating that he takes his constitutional obligation to appear before the Senate seriously, emphasizing that he has previously cooperated with the committee and has no reason to avoid responding to inquiries.

Meanwhile, committee member and Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina urged law enforcement to take action against those shielding the governor, labeling them as accomplices and emphasizing the importance of upholding justice.

This latest development follows earlier notices issued to Sakaja by the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) for disregarding invitations and summons regarding audit queries concerning the utilization of Sh76 billion from 2019 to 2023.

Sakaja’s absence during the Embakasi East constituency fire tragedy at Mradi had previously raised concerns about his leadership, although he eventually appeared five days later.

Critics have questioned his absence during key incidents, contrasting it with former Governor Mike Sonko’s hands-on approach during crises.

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