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Govt halts demolition of buildings countrywide

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 20- The Government has suspended the ongoing demolition of property across the country until further notice.

In a statement, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua on Thursday said ” further guidance will be issued following consultations with all relevant state agencies and stakeholders” before the exercise can resume.

This follows public outcry over demolitions of houses in Kayole and Komarocks estates in Nairobi, where tenants were not even granted time to vacate.

Hundreds of families remain homeless as they try to relocate to other areas.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in a case of too little too late has vowed to challenge a court order acquired by a private developer to demolish buildings in Kayole, saying he used fake title deeds.

In a recorded telephone conversation, the Governor was heard telling off the private developer identified as Mark Maina, whom he accused of flouting the law.

It all started with the establishment of a multi-agency stakeholder team meant to restore the failing glory of Nairobi City and to among others reclaim riparian and public land grabbed by cartels.

The first in line to be demolished was Java restaurant and Shell Petrol Station in Kileleshwa.

Southend, another multi-million-shilling mall at the Lang’ata Road-Mbagathi Way roundabout, was also brought down.
In August, the Government also flattened the Ukay Centre in Westlands followed by Taj Mall.

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Tens of other buildings have been demolished, with more lined up.

On December 13, the Nairobi County government started demolishing the Grand Manor hotel in Gigiri, following a court order.

The hotel, adjacent to the United Nations and the US Embassy, is owned by businessman Praful Kumar, who was recently charged for trying to bribe Governor Mike Sonko, following accusations that it had no approvals from authorities.

The investor has since acquired another court order to stop the demolition.
While the initiative has been hailed as noble, a section Kenyans fear it may be misused.


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