President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the prosecution of officials found culpable in the allocation of riparian and public utility land to private developers.
At the same time, the President supported the ongoing demolition of structures on riparian and public utility land, saying it was part of the proactive efforts by his administration to decisively deal with runaway corruption.
“We must discourage corruption and encourage county governments to demolish properties on riparian land,” said the President.
He added: “We shall go after all those who issued the illegal permits; be they county or national Government officials. All those who gave these permits will be prosecuted.”
Uhuru said structures erected on Nairobi’s riparian lands were responsible for flooding during rainy seasons, leading to loss of lives and destruction of property, as witnessed months ago.
President Kenyatta was speaking when he inaugurated Prism Towers in Upper Hill, which is the newest skyscraper in Nairobi. He described the building as an innovative, unique and eye-catching masterpiece that not only added to the aesthetic value of the city but also projected Nairobi as a progressive city.
The 34-storey building joins the league of the city’s tallest skyscrapers, among them Times Tower (34 storeys), UAP Old Mutual Tower (33 storeys) and Britam Tower (32 storeys).
The President commended the Royal Group of Companies, the developer of the new building, for continued confidence in the country’s growing economy through its investments.
“It is possible to do clean business and create wealth in Kenya,” the President said.
He advised investors facing hurdles in the course of their business to directly seek audience with top government officials, adding that his administration was working proactively to eliminate graft.
“We are working quietly. The silent warriors in Government and the private sector will make this country succeed in the fight against corruption,” he said.
Commenting on the real estate market, the President said he was encouraged that the property industry remained robust and that the World Bank had rated it the third-most developed in sub-Saharan Africa with assets equivalent to more than 2.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
He said provisional estimates of the country’s GDP indicated that the economy expanded by an improved 5.7 per cent during the first quarter of this year, compared to 4.8 percent in a similar quarter the previous year.
On his administration’s Big Four development agenda, where the construction of 500,000 affordable housing units by 2020 is a top priority, Uhuru urged the private sector to partner with the Government to turn the goal into a reality.
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