UKay Mall in Westlands demolished

The multi-agency team handling Nairobi’s regeneration has started demolishing Ukay Centre in Westlands even after its owners went to court to stop it.

CBD Chief Julius Wanjau, who is in charge of the operation, said they were not served with the court order that Ukay owners claim to have obtained.

“Even if we are served, we will not stop pulling down the building as we are executing an executive order,” he said.

According to Ukay management, the building is not put up on a river but sits 10 metres from a canalised stream. The building manager, Veeral Shah, said they adhered to all the requirements  when putting up the building.

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Ukay Centre in Westlands, Nairobi county, is torn down as part of an exercise to reclaim restricted areas, August 10, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A

Owners of the centre earlier asked the court to stop the destruction of the property worth Sh900 million.

Demolitions are taking place across the city as part of efforts by the government to save riparian land. About 4,000 buildings are earmarked for demolition in an operation to clear illegal structures from river banks in Nairobi.

The inter-agency team includes officials from Nema, Water Resources Authority, the Nairobi government, ministries of Environment and Public Works. It was formed to bring down structures that had encroached on wetland.

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The operation expected to take two months kicked off in Kileleshwa on August 6. A Java coffee house within the Shell petrol station and perimeter walls of several residential apartments in the upmarket estate were pulled down.

In a statement on August 6, NEMA said: “This activity will continue for facilities where the notices issues have lapsed and a cost to the proponents of these structures.”

It noted its mandate to ensure a “clean, healthy and sustainable environment for all”.On Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta told state agencies to prosecute officials found culpable of allocating riparian and public utility land to private developers.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko warned that all properties on road reserves, waterways or riparian land will be demolished.The county boss said no one will be spared in the crackdown which will include his property in Buruburu.

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The CBD is an eyesore with chokoras and hawkers, cry out city residents (photo)

A photo of hawkers selling wares in the streets of Nairobi has been shared widely  on social media causing alarm as many Nairobians question why no one is controlling them.

Looking around, one can see Kenyan women holding on to their handbags for dear life, afraid that the huge chokoras in the streets will jump them. It’s even worse if you are carrying luggage, not knowing who will pounce on you, and grab your bag.

Nairobians are also expressing concern and at the same time providing solutions that they think the county government should apply to try and control the menace before it gets out of hand.

Have you tried walking in the city streets lately? a majority of residents say it is a nightmare to navigate walking the streets. Check out their reactions.

Timothy Gakure… It’s a tough one… While having the town filled with hawkers can be a sore to the eye… there is no point in collecting fees from them that never get to the county. It only subjects them to harassment. But if they can come up with a way to get these people in order and collect levies from them that actually get to change the life of narobians that would be great. It is a good and bad step all in the same

Atieno J Oyieke… I was in town yesterday. My summary? Hot mess and hot bed of foolishness! Best remedy for increasing low blood pressure! And this is only halfway through year 1! Jesu Molimo!!!!

Wangechi Wanjau… Try moving from koja to Afya center. Then come tell me how low it took you..

Sylvia Kalunde M…. Finally someone has said it. Chokoras upto Kimathi street, the whole of Moi Avenue is an open air market. Archives is a replica of Gikomba it’s so disgusting

Riq Nzioki…. mombasa county closes Mji Mpya Rd on saturdays for hawking..it works. Perhpas Nairobi County should designate a street or two for hawking once a week.

Hazard Kiarie… There is a lot of space in Muthurwa that is under utilized. Besides he is yet to fulfil what he said, open several streets for hawking at night. So far he is just a populist.

On the other hand the politics in jubilee have not yet calmed, owing to the fact that he got backed by mt Kenya he is handcuffed by now. I believe once swearing in is over we shall be seeing a change. My thoughts though!!!!

Ciiru Kariuki …Once a week on one street might not be too bad as long as it’s accompanied by increased security and a clean up crew after. Does Britain have something similar they call high street market day? But emphasis on clean up. Huko the next morning the street looks polished like no market day ever happened afew short hours earlier

Virginia Ginny Gin… They should only be allowed to operate in down town Nairobi i.e Tom mboya and river road areas all the way to Kirinyaga and Ngara but strictly past 5pm. There shouldn’t be a hawker on any part of Moi avenue all the way to Uhuru highway.

Ithe Wa Shiru….. The insecurity has also gone high, phone snatching along Uhuru highway, Riverside, Haille Selasie has become the order of the day.

Albert Pamba… Even chokoras and other vilains are having a field day.Your phone and money can be whipped out of your hands or pocket in a blink of an eye.Soon the hawkers will even conduct their business within County Assembly premises.