, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – Members of a parliamentary committee on the environment led by Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki have called for action against officials who approved constructions on riparian lands.
“The Director of Criminal Investigations should take action against all the agencies involved in issuance of licenses to these developers yet they already know those areas are on riparian land because we cannot continue punishing innocent Kenyans,” said Mbiuki.
The MPs spent the better part of Thursday listening to submissions from Acting Director In charge of Compliance at NEMA, Zephaniah Ouma, who was put to task to explain how such approvals were made.
“Our work is to issue licenses and the reason these demolitions are taking place it is because the developers have gone beyond the cutline and others have contravened the license requirements,” Ouma outlined.
He added that they are only following instructions from the Nairobi Regeneration Team as far as the ongoing demolitions is concerned.
The MPs were however not satisfied with NEMA submissions and said there is laxity by some officials within the institution.
“These NEMA officials are sleeping on their job to be honest, they cannot come here and tell us that structures that were built 20 years ago are now on riparian land, this is something they ought to have known long time ago,” said Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali.
The committee recommended that the law should be followed to the latter as demolitions continue and tenants be issued with notice before their belongings are destroyed by bulldozers.
Meanwhile Ukay Centre Director Bimal Shah has raised concern that 300 people have lost jobs after 47 stalls closed down in fear of demolition.
Southend Mall on Lang’ata Road and Shell fuel station in Kileleshwa are among high-end properties demolished for encroaching on wetlands.
On Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the prosecution of government officials who approved construction of buildings and structures on riparian land.
The Head of State said he fully supports the ongoing demolitions by the National Environmental Management Authority.