Samson Morwabe, a landlord and retired government official, is counting his losses after his investment and home in the Embakasi area went up in flames overnight.
Speaking to the media, a visibly distressed Morwabe revealed that he lost his home and 30 other rental houses he had set up as his retirement plan.
The loss was part of the gas plant explosion that claimed four lives and left hundreds of others nursing serious injuries.
“I was a government employee and now I am retired. All my life is here. When the entire building went up in flames, I was left with nowhere else to get money from,” he narrated.
Aftermath of the Embakasi explosion incident which occurred on January 2, 2024.
Ministry of Interior
“Right now, I do not have any money or anywhere else to get clothing. As you see, the clothes I am wearing right now don’t fit me. All my clothes, beddings, and utensils were destroyed.”
When the tragedy occurred on Thursday night, Morwabe revealed that his instincts led him directly to the car which sadly, had also caught fire.
He explained that he got his keys, turned on the ignition and drove to safety where concerned citizens helped him extinguish the fire engulfing his vehicle.
Morwabe further revealed that the residents had previously raised concerns over the legitimacy of a gas plant in a residential neighbourhood but their pleas were not heeded to.
It’s unsurprising that now, they want the proprietor as well as other people involved to be held responsible for the tragedy.
“I went for my car keys fast and opened the car door while engulfed in flames and drove it for approximately 100 meters. Other citizens then helped me to put out the fire,” he added.
“We had complained that the (perpetrators) should not bring a gas plant to a residential neighbourhood and since our voice was not heard, the operations continued. The owner (of the plant) should carry the burden since we have lost everything.”
Several affected families are housed at a community centre in Embakasi. Governor Johnson Sakaja promised to compensate the affected.
The owner of the now infamous gas-filling plant denied claims that he ran it; insisting that it was a garage. He shifted the blame to the owner of the truck that exploded.
“I wish to state that my client refutes all the incorrect allegations which have been aired and published in the media, pointing fingers at him for being responsible for the unfortunate incident,” the lawyer told the press.
Over 300 people have been affected by the tragedy.
Firefighters at the Embakasi explosion on February 2, 2024.
Ministry of Interior