Chinese Firm Saved from Demolition of Multi-Million Nairobi Complex

  • An aerial view of Karen Estate in Nairobi in March 2020.
    An aerial view of Karen Estate in Nairobi in March 2020.
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  • A Chinese firm has won a case that sought to halt the construction of a multi-million highrise commercial building along Acacia Drive in Karen, Nairobi.

    Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba had moved to the Environment and Lands court to stop the conversion of the building from a residential to a commercial building by China Railways No 10 Engineering Group Co Limited.

    In his court filings, the legislator claimed the project is in direct contravention of the Nairobi City Council Planning and Zonal Policy. He wanted the Chinese stopped from further development of the building and even possible demolition of the premises.

    Justice Samuel Okong'o, however, dismissed the application, noting that it had no merit and that the orders sought by the lawmaker, if granted, would not make a difference.

    Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba during an event in 2018
    Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba during an event in 2018
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    "The 1st defendant contended that the construction works on the suit property have been completed.  This averment was not controverted by the plaintiff. 

    "If the construction works have been completed, then there is nothing to stop through the injunction sought by the plaintiff,"  he observed.

    Musimba told the court that the land under development which is adjacent to his property would negatively affect the property prices adding that the Physical Development Plan for the area provides that it is strictly for residential use.

    He added that the commercial building was likely to disturb the peace of Karen residents as well as posing a security risk.

    The legislator noted that the Physical Development Plan (PDP) for the area where the plaintiff’s and the suit property were situated provided that the area which is in Zone 12 of Nairobi City Development Ordinances and Zones, was strictly for residential use. 

    Together with the  Karen & Langata District Association, the MP lodged an objection with the county government over approvals to convert the residential building for commercial purposes.

    The county thereafter informed the residents that the Chinese company had abandoned its plan for conversion of use and would proceed to put up a modern house.

    However, the residents noticed that the company was putting up a building resembling a commercial building.

    An aerial view of Karen estate in May 2019.
    An aerial view of Karen estate in May 2019.
    Courtesy