Home General The rich also cry: Tycoons lose billions during 2018 demolitions

The rich also cry: Tycoons lose billions during 2018 demolitions

by kenya-tribune

Kenya’s investors lost billions of shillings this year following the demolition of buildings constructed on riparian areas, road reserves and public land.

These were some of the biggest demolitions:


Grand Manor

The five-star hotel was located next to the Botswana Embassy to its right and the Moroccan Embassy to its left.

Surrounding the hotel along Gigiri Drive was a concrete perimeter wall, at least three metres high with metallic grills on top.

Across the road is the Unep headquarters.

Grand Manor was brought down in the wee hours of December 13 on grounds that it was a security threat to the US embassy.

Property managers, Whitehorse Investments Limited, petitioning the decision, said it had spent over Sh200 million on the project which was 75 per cent complete. 

Businessman Praful Kumar had put up a spirited fight to protect his premises after Gigiri Village Association filed a complaint in July 2015 seeking to stop works on the hotel.

The association said the facility violated physical planning regulations for the low-density estate.

In August 16, City Hall stopped works at the facility after serving them a notice on December 14, 2017.

Read: Grand Manor Hotel brought down, threat to US embassy

Also read: EACC detectives arrest Nairobi trader over Sh1m bribe for Sonko to approve hotel


South End mall

The Sh1 billion five-storey building along Lang’ata road was brought down on August 8, 2018, on grounds it was sitting on riparian land.

The demolition caught many tenants unawares with many crying foul, syaing they had not been informed.

A three-storey building next to the mall, which belonged to former Bobasi MP Stephen Manoti, was also brought down.

The construction of the building sparked a public uproar in 2013 after environmental activists said it was sitting on top of Mutuini-Ngong River.

It was said to be interfering with the natural flow of the water and was in 2015 blamed for the heavy flooding in South C, Nairobi West and Madaraka estates.

South End mall’s construction began in 2008, but was stopped a year later, following public protests.

It resumed in 2013.

The mall was later completed in 2016 while the adjacent one, that was to house a supermarket and parking lot, was completed early this year.

Manoti constructed the buildings under his company’s name – Moriasa Trading Company Ltd.

During the demolition, the Star observed that effluent was being discharged from the building into the river.

Read: Southend Mall finally brought down


Taj Mall 

Rameshchandra Gorasia, owner of the Airgate mall had dared the government to demolish his property.

Well, the government took him to his dare.

The building was reduced to rubble on September 15.

Airgate, formerly known as Taj Mall, was sitting on reserves of the Outering Road in Embakasi.

As tenants vacated the building, Gorasia stood his ground saying he genuinely bought the 1.75 acres in 1991 and another two acres in 1995, both from Abuja Limited.

Kura said the building had hindered the completion of the expansion of Outering Road.

It argued the design of the road had been changed owing to the building’s existence but there was still not enough space for construction of a service lane.

This has made vehicles terminate on the overpass, causing heaving traffic jam on the busy 13km road.

Gorasia questioned why the government demolished the entire building despite the National Land Commission having only revoked a title of part – 1.75 acres – of the of the 3.75-acre plot .

According to government papers, the title for the land where the building stands was revoked in September 2015 by the NLC.

The authority established that the government had acquired it in 1960 for the future expansion of Outering Road and North Airport Road.

Gorasia said the structure which was built in 2008 was launched in 2011 by the then Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

He claimed he lost items worth Sh3 million to looters during the operation.

The mall was in october valued at Sh7.2 billion by a valuation firm – Redfern.

Read: {PHOTOS} Taj Mall demolition underway


Ukay Centre

The mall in Westlands which had been at the centre of a controversy involving claims it was situated on wetland was demolished on August 10.

Despite the owners moving to court to stop its demolition, a bulldozer descended on the building from about 5.30 am.

Nakumatt CEO Atul Shah told the Star that he had lost Sh150 million worth of goods and furniture during the operation.

The property which had been up for 25 years was worth Sh900 million.

Read: Ukay Centre razed after 25 years


Oshwal centre

Opposite the former Ukay Centre sits Oshwal centre which was lucky as only a section of it was demolished on August 11.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko had pledged that the temple and all the monumental structures will not be touched and only parts of the perimeter wall and one hall would be affected.

He said three sections of the centre did not sit on riparian land, and will not be demolished.

“We are ready to preserve the temple, monuments and cultural centre because they are far from the river,” Sonko said.

The management of Visa Oshwal itself hired two bulldozers, to pull down the perimeter wall that faced Ukay Centre.

It, however, said the Hindu religious centre did not obstruct water flow, adding that all procedures were followed and approvals granted.

The centre was established by the Oshwal community from Asian foundation incorporated in December 15, 1988.

Oshwal, which comfortably accommodates 4,000 people, has three entrances — one from Mpaka Road, another from Maua Close and the main entrance from Ring Road, Westlands.

It consisted of two large dining halls, two large and two medium-sized kitchens with cold room facilities and a wedding hall with attached changing rooms and banqueting equipment.

Read: Oshwal Centre demolition underway


Java and Shell petrol station in Kileleshwa

The Kileleshwa Shell petrol station and part of the building that housed Java coffee shop at the location were brought down on August 6.

It was among the first high-profile structures to be taken down.

Several walls of residential apartments housing the structure were also not spared.

Nema carried out the demolitions because it was sitting an riparian land. Several billboards and kiosks were also razed down.

Read: [VIDEO] Java Kileleshwa hit as NEMA demolishes structures on riparian land


Demolitions to go on next year

Sonko during Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium said illegal structures would continue being demolished.

“All those who have structures on riparian land, please do not wait for us to come and destroy them, come to the county and give us a plan on how you will remove those structures at your cost,” he said.

The Nairobi Regeneration Committee had recommended demolition of about 4,000 buildings which are either on riparian land or on road reserves.

 Click here for the latest political news

You may also like