The Cord leaders paid a visit to the collapsed Huruma building in Nairobi on Tuesday with leaders including Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula.
The leaders made a charity donations to the displaced people camping at their temporal camp in Huruma hall. The items donated include, Sh2 million, 400kgs of sugar, 50 bundles of maize flour, 30 crates of drinking water and five bundles of blankets.
Each victim, according to the opposition leaders, would receive Sh50,000. While the leaders were listening to the plights of the victims, crowd surged to greet them. The activities at the site halted momentarily. But Police had to fire teargas at the growing crowd forcing their way to Ground Zero.
A section of the crowd had to climb balconies of adjacent buildings to see Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula. Raila briefed the audience, but his speech was cut short when one George Awiti, whose sister and her five children are missing, began to rain abuses on the leaders.
He accused the officers of not getting them engaged on the rescue progress. Victims say they had to go follow updates from media and visit mortuaries and hospitals before they could know the latest about the rescue mission. Raila blamed corruption for the construction of substandard buildings that have continued to collapse and kill tenants.
The Nairobi building fell on Friday night during a heavy rains – killing at least 23 people with many yet to be found. Rescuers have been saving many trapped beneath the rubble and have so far rescued about 136 people as of yesterday. Among the rescued was a miracle baby named Dealeryn Wasike who was found alive and unscathed after four days (80 hours) under the rubble. She was found in bucket and rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital where she received medical attention and was found to be of stable health. First lady Margaret Kenyatta has also gone to the Kenyatta National Hospital to comfort the baby.
Many dignitaries, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, have visited the site. City Hall has reported that both the building and its plan were not approved. Two brothers, said to be the owners of the Huruma building, were arraigned in court earlier today as they face manslaughter charges.
The brothers Samuel Karanja, Henry Karanja and National Construction Authority Director Chrispas Ndinyo, Director of Planning and Compliance at Nairobi County government Justus Kathenge and Mathare sub-county administrator Seline Ogallo allegedly did not plead to the charges.
They were detained and later bailed today. Rescuers said operations would end today. The collapse of the Huruma building was the latest of such disaster in a fast expanding African city that is struggling to build homes in as little a time as possible. The Interior ministry said the Huruma building had been earmarked for demolition as it was built close to a river, but the order had not been carried out by local officials. It urged developers to adhere to safety standards.