The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) teams investigating the Embakasi fire blast incident have so far arrested the main suspect Derrick Kimathi alongside three NEMA officials who were found culpable.
According to a statement by DCI, the officials include David Ongare (Director Environment Compliance), Joseph Makau (Head Environmental Impact Assessment) and Mirrian Kioko.
At the same time, the team is seeking assistance from members of the public to trace five other suspects who are still at large and are wanted to answer to their various charges.
The five, DCI notes, include Stephen Kilonzo (the site manager), Ann Kabiri Mirungi of NEMA, Lynette Cheruyoit (NEMA’s Senior Environmental Officer), truck driver Robert Gitau and Abraham Mwangi (driver).
In its statement, DCI confirmed that the gas plant at the center of investigations was rented by one Derrick Kimathi (the prime suspect) and put under the management of a man named Stephen Kilonzo.
DCI promised to ensure that justice is served for affected families and casualties in the incident that has so far claimed the lives of six people.
At the same time, several motor vehicles, business premises and residential houses were also destroyed by the harrowing inferno that took place on February 1 at around 11.30 pm.
On Monday, February 5, Kimathi surrendered himself to authorities for grilling by the investigations team, according to Nairobi Police boss Adamson Bungei.
The investigations side has also laid its focus on officials from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) which was among the government institutions faulted for allowing a gas plat to operate in a residential area.
Offcials from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) have also been on the spot amid a blame game between relevant authorities.
Ruto’s directive on Embakasi fire
Following the tragic incident, President William Ruto on Saturday, February 3, ordered the Ministry of Environment to fire the officials who oversaw the licensing of the Embakasi plant.
Ruto also ordered the DCI to track down the suspects culpable for the incident insisting that they had to take responsibility for the tragedy.
“They issued licenses, today we have Kenyans who have died, those fellows, who are involved in this, the Ministry must immediately take action against them,” Ruto said while addressing a gathering in Kakamega.
Hours after his directive, NEMA announced the suspension of four officials noting that it had observed some gaps in the process of licensing.
“Further, preliminary investigation has revealed that four NEMA officers unprocedurally processed the license and are therefore culpable,” NEMA announced in a statement on Saturday.