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Nairobi Governor Fined for Absence in Key Housing Project Discussion

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Shivani Chauhan
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Nairobi Governor Fined for Absence in Key Housing Project Discussion

Nairobi's Governor, Johnson Sakaja, has been fined Ksh.500,000 by the Senate Roads and Housing Committee due to his absence when summoned to discuss the state of the Nairobi Regeneration Projects. The initiative, intended to address the housing deficit and create employment, particularly for the city's youth, plans to construct 40,000 affordable housing units across 13 estates in Nairobi.

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Nairobi's Housing Regeneration

The estates earmarked for regeneration include Bahati, Bondeni, Buruburu, Embakasi, Huruma, Jericho, Kariobangi North and South, Lumumba, Maringo, Suna Road Market, Woodley, and Ziwani.

In its first phase, the project is set to construct 9,000 units in Bahati, 4,000 in Maringo, 2,500 in Ziwani, 700 in Bondeni, 2,250 in Kariobangi North, and 6,000 in Embakasi and Woodley. The second phase will commence upon the completion of the first.

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Unexcused Absence

At the time of the imposed fine, Governor Sakaja was in Cape Town, South Africa, engaging in a water reuse conversation with global cities, accompanied by officials from the Nairobi Water Company. This absence marked the sixth time Sakaja failed to attend a session before the Committee, with the first invitation dating back to November 30, 2022.

Repercussions and Future Expectations

The Senate Roads, Transport, and Infrastructure Committee, frustrated by the Governor's year-long evasion of their summons, stated that Sakaja's actions were contemptuous. They further directed him to appear the following day and provide an explanation regarding the approval for redevelopment of the New Pumwani-California estate.

The Committee has also expressed desires to halt the Nairobi Regeneration and Urban Renewal Program, shedding light on the implications of Sakaja's continued absence. The Governor will need to avail the travel manifest upon his return to prove his travel out of the country. The imposed fine follows the standing orders for failing to honor the summons of the Committee.

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