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Ukay owner files suit to block demolition

By Faith Karanja | Published Fri, August 10th 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 9th 2018 at 23:37 GMT +3
Southend mall Building along Langata road in Nairobi on 8th August, 2018 demolished by NEMA. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

The owners of a prime property targeted for demolition have gone to court to have authorities restrained from interfering with the building.

The proprietors of Ukay Centre, which houses Nakumatt Supermarket in Westlands, yesterday sued the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) for the ongoing demolitions to reclaim riparian land.

Kental Enterprises filed the petition under a certificate of urgency at the High Court in Nairobi, seeking orders to restrain Nema, Nairobi City County, Water Resource Management Authority, National Youth Service and the Attorney General from demolishing the building.

“Pending hearing and determination of this petition, a conservatory order do issue restraining government department or local authority from interfering with the property LR No 209/11307 and LR No 209/11308 commonly known as Ukay Centre,“ said lawyers Walker Kontos and Greg Karungo in their application filed in court.

They said it was in the public domain that Nema, as part of the multi-agency task force, had been demolishing buildings in Nairobi purported to sit on riparian reserves.

“Judge David Majanja had on July 24, 2012, dismissed an attempt by the Commissioner for Lands to quash Kental’s valid title over the suit properties,” read the application.

The petitioners said the claim resurfaced on May 23, 2018, and in a July 6, 2018 letter, in which they were notified that part of Ukay Centre was set for demolition.

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“The petitioner has disclosed an arguable case that is likely to succeed upon the full determination of the petition,” said Kontos.

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