Some MCAs are demanding compensation of developers whose buildings have been pulled down in the demolition of structures on riparian land.
The MCAs, some whose wards have been affected, criticised the government for demolishing the buildings yet its own agencies approved the constructions. County assembly Minority leader and Kileleshwa MCA Elias Otieno addressed a press conference at City Hall yesterday.
“The government cannot approve constructions today, then demolish them the following day. That is unfair to hardworking residents,” he said.
The operation started last week on Monday in Otieno’s Kileleshwa ward, where a Shell petrol station and a Java outlet were pulled down. Part of a flat at Caribbean Apartments and perimeter walls of several plots were also demolished. “Why did they decide to start with Kileleshwa? Is there something they are after? We will not allow these destruction to continue if the affected people are not compensated,” he said.
Nairobi West MCA Maurice Gari urged owners of demolished buildings to go to court to determine if the approvals were genuine. The twin Southend Mall buildings brought down last Wednesday for standing on Ngong River are in his ward.
“These people have approvals by the county, Nema and other agencies. But we don’t know whether they are genuine. If the court can approve that, then the government must compensate them for the losses,” Gari said. The DCI is investigating the officers who approved constructions on wetlands. This followed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive.
The multi-agency task force of the regeneration of Nairobi River has been demolishing structures on wetlands. This is aimed at reclaiming Nairobi River and its tributaries, which have been threatened by heavy dumping and encroachment.
Ukay Centre and part of the Oshwal Centre — a Hindu religious centre — in Westlands have been pulled down in the last week because they were built on a river bank.
The operation targets about 4,000 structures and is expected to take two months. On Monday, the task force suspended the demolitions for a week until the buildings partially knocked down last week are flattened.
Chief Julius Wanjau, who is in charge of the operations, declined to say which building they will demolish next, saying doing so would subject the team to security threats. Yesterday, the bulldozers were flattening Southend Mall buildings.