Authorities to Consider Use of Explosives in Demolishing Illegal Shopping Malls

  • The government is mulling using alternative methods to bring down illegal structures and buildings in Nairobi away from earthmovers.

    The Nairobi River Regeneration Taskforce is considering the use of explosives to turn the high-end malls, hotels and apartments marked as illegal into rubbles.

     This is after the exercise experienced delays when using two trucks and two bulldozers in implementing the demolition for lack of fuel and the task force finds this to be too costly.

    [caption caption="Southend Mall rests atop Mutuini River along Lang'ata road(PHOTO/COURTESY)"][/caption]

    The demolitions are estimated to be costing at least Kshs400,000 a day.

    Leading the operations, Mr Julius Wanjau hinted to the media that they will be considering using the explosives to bring down the remaining sections of Southend Mall on Lang'ata Road.

    "We are consulting on whether to use explosives to bring down the building because it is high up and the bulldozers are unable to reach the top-most floors. We, however, assure the public that this has not slowed down our quest to do away with buildings on riparian land,” stated Wanjau.

    Wanjau further stated that the demolitions had not been interjected by court orders as had been reported.

    He insisted that no buildings would be spared as their focus was on saving the Nairobi River.

    Earlier, the owners of the Southend Mall had accused the task force of ambushing them in the move that saw several tenants lose property worth millions.

    Mosiara Trading Company, an entity behind the Southend Mall investment had through their lawyer Mariaria Nyaboga indicated that they were entitled to pursue compensation given they had obtained licenses allowing the construction of the building.

    On Thursday, President Kenyatta announced the demolitions would go on as planned.

    He directed for the prosecution of officers who issued permits allowing the building of the structures that rest on riparian land.

    Hours after the president's directive, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji directed the Director of Criminal Investigations to initiate an immediate investigation into the circumstances, procedures and persons who issued the permits to the building owners.

    [caption caption="Building rests atop a River along Lang'ata road(PHOTO/COURTESY)"][/caption]