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Ruto addresses Embakasi gas explosion, lists government officials to be sacked

President William Ruto who was breathing fire on Saturday, February 03 2024 addressed the Embakasi gas explosion.

President William Ruto

President William Ruto has broken his silence on the Embakasi gas explosion that has claimed three lives so far with more than 280 nursing injuries.

Ruto noted that corruption, lack of integrity and pure greed among government officials is to blame for the tragedy.

The Head of State ordered for the immediate sacking of all government officials accused of sleeping on the job and irregularly issuing license to the gas plant.

He noted that those found culpable should face charges for the offences committed.

“I want to say for the avoidance of doubt, the government officials who issued licenses for gas installations in residential areas when it was very clear that it was the wrong thing to do, but because of incompetence and corruption they issued licenses.”

“Today we have injuries, we have Kenyans who have died, those fellows who are involved in this, the ministry must immediately take action against them and they must be dismissed and prosecuted for the crimes they have committed.” Ruto stated on Saturday morning.

He observed that there is no point in having those culpable holding government jobs and being paid by taxpayers at a time when their actions go against the interest of the public and the constitution.

4 Government officials suspended

Shortly after the President weighed in on the matter, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) suspended four officials in connection with the explosion.

The Director, Environmental Compliance and Acting Deputy Director of Compliance are among those suspended.

Others are two Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) were suspended. These were the Senior Environmental Officer and the Head of Environmental Impact Assessment.

Government reveals blunder and the plant's controversial past

A joint statement released by Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir and his Interior counterpart Prof. Kithure Kindiki revealed the tragedy was caused by incorrect refilling of the cylinders.

“Preliminary findings indicate that on the fateful night, the refilling of LPG cylinders was done using direct manifold connections to the LPG tanker increasing the risk of leakage and explosion,” read the statement.

It has since emerged that the plant in question was demolished twice by EPRA with the owners charged in court.

Twice, in March 2020 and January 2021, the plant that was illegally constructed at the said location was demolished by EPRA and the operators charged in Court,” read the statement.

The explosion left 280 injured in hospitals around the city with serious burns. Three deaths have so far been reported.

According to Kenya Red Cross that is part of a multi-agency team that responded to the tragedy,15 people are still unaccounted for.

“We have 6 male adults, three female adults and four minors.” Kenya Red Cross’ Patience Gitonga told the press.

A crackdown has since been announced by the government targeting plants operating illegally.

A risk assessment exercise for all LPG plants to ensure compliance will also be conducted.

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