This is the sequel to a story published on February 29th 2020, highlighting the follies, the intrigues, twists and turns in the underground processes that precedes and fuels illegal constructions in the city.
In this case, an errant occupier in Mwitu Drive, Karen – a Controlled Development Area – started an illegal project in his compound over which the Mwitu Resident’s Association totally opposed and pursued justice through the usual channels. The developer, though, seems to have more than one ace up his sleep.
The follow-up started at the Nairobi County offices.
Well, the Urban Planning Office is a murky, lily-covered fish pond. The cartel’s big fish thrive here.
The Chief Officer, is a gentleman named Mr. Kazungu. He heads the Urban Planning Department with several subordinate offices – Planning, Compliance & Enforcement Offices, Development Control/Approval Offices, and the Development Control/Planner Offices.
At the time the mess at Mwitu Drive began, the head of the department wasn’t in office. However, on his return, he was dismayed, and, since, been very helpful in the follow-up – even pushing for the revocation of the approvals.
The actual office that issued an irregular post-haste approval for the illegal construction is the Development Control/Planner Office, ran by a Mr. Njani. When contacted, Mr. Njani comes across as easy-going, convivial, likeable and engaging – but, perhaps, those strong qualities are his Achilles’ heel. This is the office that issued an approval, and back-dated it.
Monday 24th February, 2020: Officials from the NCA arrive at the site, and are appalled by the fake sign board displaying fake approval details purported to be issued by the body. They pull down the sign board with the fake details, and not without some drama.
The developer’s son takes to the NCA’s presence with angst and contempt, and gives the officials a public dressing down riddled with insults. Consequently, upon exit, the NCA officials report the incident at Karen Police Station, and obtains an OB number – OB 40/24/02/2020.
February 27th 2020: A multi-agency team comprised of officials from all the relevant offices – NCC, NCA, NEMA, Nairobi Buildings Inspectorate (NBI), and a team of security agents. As expected, access to the premises was denied, and the team had to use unorthodox means.
The project was officially stopped, and the NCC practiced their usual art skills on buildings meant for demolition – Spray painting the notice: ILLEGAL! DEMOLISH!
The team leaves the premise.
Wait for it – the project resumes, the DEMOLISH graffiti notwithstanding!
Clearly, this developer has guts, and, perhaps, a generous measure of futile energy.
The saga continues, and further updates to follow…