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City Hall faults ‘lone-ranger’ housing audit

City Hall is unhappy with the way National Construction Authority officials have been going around closing down sites, accusing contractors and owners of failing to comply with government regulations.

The two-month campaign was launched in the wake of the collapse of several buildings in Nairobi, the latest being the seven-storey building at Huruma, which came down killing several people.

This occurred barely two weeks after a similar incident at Makongeni.

Work on at least 20 buildings under construction has been stopped by NCA officers, after they found out that contractors were not registered with the authority.

INVOLVE ALL AGENCIES

Others had failed to put up signboards at construction sites, showing all professionals undertaking the entire work, which is another regulation that NCA has put in place.

“The authority should stop this programme because it can only conduct it jointly with the county government,” a senior official at the Housing Development Department in City Hall, who asked not to be named, said.

Although County Planning Executive Tom Odongo denied there was a conflict between them and NCA, he said the campaign must follow the due process and involve all other government agencies.

“I do not agree with the lone- ranger approach. I believe this should be addressed with the question of mandate in mind and a multi-sectoral approach,” he said.

But NCA Senior Investigator Chrispus Ddinyo said on Thursday they had involved all government agencies, including City Hall, in the campaign.

“We are involving all the government agencies in our inspections and our work is only to ensure that there is quality construction in all the buildings being erected,” Mr Ddinyo said in a telephone interview.

County assembly representatives from Kware and Pipeline wards that are mostly affected, on Thursday demanded that due process be followed before any demolitions are done.

“Many property owners are very worried. Putting up a flat costs up to Sh90 million.

“This is money that they have borrowed at very high rates,” said Deputy Speaker and Kware Representative Ken Ng’ondi.