JIENJOY

Monday, June 27, 2011

Musalia takes off gloves for Waititu


BY LORDRICK MAYABI

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 -Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi on Sunday hit out at Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu for what he called incitement of the locals against a directive for inspection of buildings in the city in the wake of tragedies of collapsing buildings.

Mr Mudavadi, who was the chief guest at the 83rd annual St John’s Ambulance parade in Nairobi, assured that the City Council will carry out the audit of buildings in the city in consultation with all stakeholders.

The directive by the Deputy Prime Minister who is the Minister for Local Government came hot on the heels of two tragedies of collapsed buildings in the city- in Embakasi and on Lang’ata road- in which at least four people lost their lives.

“I recommended a consultative approach in the verification and audit of buildings. When the city council wants to effect the process a Member of Parliament hires goons to disrupt the exercise, this is not showing leadership,” he asserted
“The process is not about demolitions but about finding out legal status of buildings, inspection of structural design and stability and ensuring the zoning regulations were met,” he added.

Mr Mudavadi insisted that all stakeholders in the building sector should take blame for the neglect of legal, structural professional and human resource issues in the sector.

“Contrary to the popular blame game, the decay in the state of buildings in the city has been with us for a long time, all players in this vital sector should equally take blame, he insisted.

 “It has become fashionable for us to wait for a tragedy then trade blame when long term solutions begin from little immediate actions,” he added.

Mr Mudavadi however noted that in the long run, the solution to the problem of poorly erected structures in the city lay in the overhaul of the laws governing the building industry.

“In the long run we must have an overhaul of the Physical Planning act to provide for effective approval, inspections and stiffer enforcement of the building codes, he reiterated.

The deputy Prime Minister praised the critical role that the St John’s Ambulance had played in disaster response during its 83-year existence.

He said that the government would tap into the experience of the St Johns Ambulance team to address disaster issues in the counties.

“Under the new Constitution the county governments have been entrusted with all functions relating to health care, except for health policy and national referral health facilities which remain the responsibility of the national government,” he said.

He also urged for nationwide capacity building for better response and management of disaster situations.

“We must  as a nation build the capacity of Kenyans to manage disaster situations and offer prompt and appropriate response; we must as a progressive country equip our people with the  skills to address emergencies,” he said.

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