The authorities are considering using explosives to complete the demolition of Southend Mall in Nairobi.
Lack of fuel for two trucks and two bulldozers saw the demolition delayed for more than seven hours yesterday. It was expected to start at 7am but by 2pm it still had not commenced.
Sources said the demolition costs about Sh400,000 a day.
The Nairobi River Regeneration task force operations manager, Julius Wanjau, told The Standard his team could use explosives to bring down the multi-billion shilling Southend Mall.
“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,” said Mr Wanjau.
He dismissed reports that the demolitions had been halted by a court order.
“Whoever is feeding the public with false reports should stop. Our work is cut out for us and this time round we will not spare any building for the sake of our river,” he added.
The owner of the building, former Bobasi MP Stephen Manoti, through his lawyer Mariaria Nyaboga, criticised the demolitions by the multi-agency task force and accused it of practising double standards.
He criticised officials from the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) for approving the construction of the building, then turning around to condemn it.
The owners of the Ukay Centre, which houses Nakumatt, yesterday went to court to seek orders to stop Nema from demolishing the building valued at Sh900 million. [Josphat Thiong'o]