Slow wheels of justice ‘abetting building industry crimes’

The Judiciary has been faulted for allegedly moving slowly in hearing and determining cases of suspects of negligence that has led to collapse of buildings in different parts of the country. Stakeholders in the building and construction industry claim that the delay is increasingly encouraging impunity in the sector.

Addressing the press on the sidelines of this year’s Architectural Association of Kenya Annual (AAK) convention in Mombasa, National Building Inspectorate secretary Moses Nyakiongora said no suspect has been prosecuted since 1996.

“Our justice system is very slow. Since 1996, when Sunbeam building collapsed, we have the Nyamakima building and several others that have collapsed and claimed lives but no one has ever been prosecuted,” he said. He added that the justice lapse has resulted in rogue developers and contractors continuing to put the lives of Kenyans at risk.

“We, therefore, urge the Judiciary to tighten the noose,” he said, adding that it is the only way to deal with impunity in the construction industry. President of the AAK governing council Emma Miloyo echoed the concern noting that the country has laws to govern the industry.

“As AAK, we have laws governing the industry and they must be put into use to not only protect Kenyans but workers who are often the first casualties when buildings under construction collapse,” she said.

She said citizens have a role to play in ensuring that rogue contractors are intercepted before they get to the construction site. “I call upon stakeholders to work with AAK to make the industry safe. We must work as a team to ensure the right channels are followed in licensing constructions,” she said.

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