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City Hall blames police for stalled demolition of unsafe building

City Hall has blamed the police for the slow pace of demolitions of unsafe houses in Nairobi.

County executive in charge of lands Christopher Khaemba says police have failed to offer security against rowdy youths during the demolitions.

The accusation come three days after efforts to demolish a building in Huruma Estate on Tuesday were rendered futile. Rowdy youths armed with crude weapons chased away a team from City Hall and the National Constructions Authority (NCA) that had been deployed to oversee the operation.

Mr Khaemba said demolition of unsafe buildings, which started after the collapse of a building in Huruma in April, has been in slow and faced with challenges.

MISCHIEF

“The failure is on the part of the police whose job is to provide security to enable the demolition of unsafe buildings. We invited the support of police because we anticipated mischief from the owners of those unsafe buildings,” explained Mr Khaemba.

Hesaid that they have so far demolished 35 buildings in the city, but they had also be taken to court by the building owners who demanded for documentation of structural defects.

He said the initial target of 3,000 buildings identified to be unsafe by visual impression was reduced to 360 after City Hall started a scientific evaluation on the structural integrity of the buildings.

PROPER AUDIT

“It is not just the county government doing demolitions. Before a building is marked for demolition, proper audit will have been done and established that the such a building cannot be rehabilitated and is unsafe for occupation. What we are not doing is to demolish shanties where our poor people live,” said Mr Khaemba.

He added that demolition of unsafe buildings is being managed by inter-agency committee comprising NCA, Nema, Ministry of Lands and Housing, Ministry of Infrastructure/Works, Interior and county government.