In what kicked off as a joke, with the demolition of the popular joint, Java, together with Shell Fuel station and other buildings in Kileleshwa, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has gained momentum and proving critics wrong.
After Kenyans bashed the environmental body for a PR show in Kileleshwa and dared it to act on other buildings constructed on riparian land, it pulled another surprise by bringing down the Southend Mall, next to T-Mall in Langata.
This action sent shockwaves among owners of other buildings that had been earmarked for demolition be being on riparian land such as Ukay Mall. Owners of the iconic Ukay Mall that houses Nakumatt Ukay rushed to court on Thursday, seeking the court’s help in stopping NEMA’s bulldozers from bringing it down. The court declined.
Frustrated, the owners ran before a parliamentary committee in charge of environment and produced documents that showed that the construction of the more than 1 billion shilling building had been approved by relevant authorities. The committee declined to stop the demolition.
On Friday morning, NEMA pulled another surprise. Bulldozers landed on Ukay Mall and now it is no more. Luckily, most tenants, sensing an imminent danger, started evacuating the building on Thursday evening and the few who had adopted the ‘wait-and-see’ approach are now counting losses.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has retaliated that the demolition of all structures constructed on riparian land will go on. He also said that all government officials who authorized the construction of structures on riparian land will be arrested and charged.
Nairobi Governor, Mike Sonko, who always admitted to owning property on a road reserve, said that the demolitions will go on even if it will make him unpopular and a one-term governor.
According to NEMA, a total of 4,000 buildings that have been constructed on what is termed as riparian land will be demolished in an exercise that will take two months.
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