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State House suspends property demolitions across the country




Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

State House on Thursday suspended demolitions of buildings across the country, giving relief to developers who have been hardest hit by phased plan which had targeted thousands of properties amid a slowdown in the real estate sector.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua directed the demolitions of property, including those built on road reserves and riparian land, be stopped immediately until further notice.

“It is notified for the General Information of the Public that the Government has forthwith directed the immediate suspension of all demolition of properties in all parts of the Country until further notice,” Mr Kinyua said in a short statement.

“Further guidance will be issued following consultations with all relevant State agencies and stakeholders.”

Earlier Nairobi governor Mike Sonko had also suspended demolitions in the capital until after Christmas.

The governor’s directive followed this week’s demolitions at Nyama Villa estate in Kayole area in Nairobi by private developers acting on a court order, which left tens of families homeless.

Developers have lost billions of shillings in investment following demolition of high-end buildings, largely in Nairobi, for either encroaching on road reserves or water catchment areas.

The high-profile demolitions started on August 8 when the National Environment Management Authority brought down South End Mall whose value the developers put at Sh2 billion.

It was followed by demolitions of a section of Ukay Centre (August 10) and Oshwal Centre (August 11) as well as AirGate Mall (formerly Taj Mall) on September 15.

The demolitions have slowed down investment in real estate, hitting related industries like cement consumption.