Nairobi building collapse: Samuel Karanja Kamau charged with manslaughter

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Kenyan police officers and Kenyan National Youth Servicemen work at the site of a building collapse in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, April 30, 2016Image source, AP
Image caption,
Residents say the building shook violently in the rain before collapsing

The owner of a building which collapsed in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, in April has been charged with 52 counts of manslaughter.

Samuel Karanja Kamau denied the charges at Nairobi's High Court and is due to appear at a bail hearing on Wednesday.

A total of 52 people died when the six-storey building came down in heavy rain in the city's poor Huruma district.

The government said 100 rooms had been rented out, even though the building had been declared unfit to live in.

Mr Kamau has not yet commented on the allegation.

Three officials from Nairobi City County and the National Construction Authority (NCA) were taken into police custody after the collapse.

However, it is unclear whether they have been charged.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Officials say the the building was unfit for habitation

The six-storey building collapsed on 29 April, at the height of Kenya's rainy season.

A local MP said it was built less than 5m (15 feet) from a river, when it should have been at least 30m away.

The NCA said it had marked the building as unfit for habitation, but that the local government had failed to follow up.

Many of Nairobi's four million people live in low-income areas or slums.

Housing is in high demand, and unscrupulous developers often bypass regulations.

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