At the heart of all errands at the Southend Mall on Lang’ata Road is little known Dansteve Ragira, a brother to the former Bobasi Constituency Member of Parliament Stephen Kengere Manoti.
Manoti lost his parliamentary seat in last year’s General Elections contesting on a Jubilee Party ticket as one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s point-men in Gusii land.
Manoti and his brother have been running the Mall under Mosiara Trading Company, an entity granted rights to built a hotel on the parcel of land next to the Mutuini-Ngong river.
The Mosiara Trading Company investors initiated the project in the year 2008 at a time the owner was a sitting MP elected on a People's Democratic Party(PDP) ticket.
Four years later (in 2012), the construction works were interrupted by authorities over environmental concerns raised by South C and Nairobi West residents and a number of lobby groups.
It has now emerged that the owners managed to obtain an Environmental Impact Assessment Licence dated August 16, 2012, from the National Environment Management Authority(NEMA)
The Mall owners have documents indicating that NEMA ratified the Mosiara Trading Company Limited’s intended project allowing them to construct a hotel and office block on plot L.R. No 209/12227 after reportedly paying Kshs40 million.
“The proponent shall ensure that no development activity shall be undertaken within a distance of 10 metres from the highest ever recorded level of Ngong River,” reads the licence in part.
Just as earlier reported by Kenyans.co.ke, senior officials at NEMA confirmed only having allowed construction works a smaller part of the land owned by the company meters away from the river catchment area.
This, NEMA says, ended up being violated with the investor putting up the Mall while covering the river using a slab to host its blocks-A and B that are now facing demolition.
The investors have however through their lawyers cried foul saying the building is very far from the river and that they had been ambushed by the moved.
According to the former MP’s brother, Ragira, they had not been told who was overseeing the demolitions that started on Wednesday early in the morning.
In 2013, the construction works resumed with protection from court orders that stopped former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero's administration from taking any steps to halt the construction of the mall.
Tenants on Wednesday blamed the owners of keeping them in the dark over the demolitions that saw a number of them lose millions into the rubble.
Some of the building occupants who spoke to the media stated that their landlord had assured them that the enterprise could not be brought down and that they had no reason to move out given they had stay orders served to the authorities.