President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, June 25, launched a special task force that has been ordered to hunt down individuals who are said to have predicted the latest Gikomba fire on various social media platforms.
Speaking to the media from the scene of the incident, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho revealed that the unit tasked with the investigations would be stationed on the 5th floor at Nyayo House, Nairobi.
“We hear that some people had made social media posts predicting that this fire would occur. We have opened a desk at Nyayo House, 5th floor. All this information including the intelligence we have received from business people here will not be in vain,” he stated.
They further revealed that under the president’s directive, he had conducted a closed-door meeting with the various stakeholders including Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director-General Mohamed Badi and various leaders from Gikomba Market, in a bid to come up with a permanent solution to the perennial fires.
“We do not believe these fires are natural. We believe that there are some people who think that by displacing the business people here they will have an opportunity to develop this land on selfish grounds,” PS Kibicho further revealed.
He went on to intimate that he was aware that some unknown private developers were trying to forcefully drive the traders out of the area for their own selfish interests.
Despite the government having launched similar investigations in recent fire disasters at the market, PS Kibicho assured the traders that he had taken a personal commitment in the case and promised to deliver results.
“I know such promises have been made before but we want you to test us this time around. Unfortunately, there are people who believe that when the business people using this space are evacuated, they will have an opportunity to put this land to private use.
“Gikomba is public land and it shall be used for public purposes even after we relocate the traders who are to here to the markets we are building,” he stated.
Residents living in the area whose houses were razed down by the early morning inferno were also assured of shelter and compensation by the government.
The Interior PS further assured the traders and residents of Gikomba of the government’s full support and detailed a 3-month plan to install CCTV cameras around the area, establish a perimeter wall around the market and drill a borehole.