“We will continue to demolish properties constructed on riparian lands, equally punish officials who made approvals for those properties,” President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
He added: “We are doing everything to discourage corruption. It is possible to do clean business in Kenya, this is what we want to encourage.”
Uhuru on Thursday asked responsible state agencies to prosecute all government officials found culpable for allocating riparian and public utility land to private developers.
At the same time, President Kenyatta supported the on-going demolition of structures illegally erected on riparian and public utility land saying this is part of the proactive efforts by his administration to decisively deal with runaway corruption in the country.
“We must discourage corruption and encourage county governments to demolish properties on riparian land,” said President Kenyatta.
He added: “We shall go after all those who issued the illegal permits, be they County or National Government officials. All those who gave these permits will be prosecuted.”
President Kenyatta was speaking when he officially inaugurated Prism Towers in Upper Hill which is the newest skyscraper in Nairobi.
The 34-storey iconic building joins the league of the city’s tallest skyscrapers among them Times Tower (34 storeys), UAP Old Mutual Tower (33) and Britam Tower at 32 storeys.
The Head of State noted that structures erected on Nairobi’s riparian lands are responsible for flooding during the rainy seasons that lead to loss of lives and destruction of property as witnessed months ago.
On the new skyscraper that takes the design of a prism, the President described the building as an innovative, unique and eye-catching masterpiece that not only adds to the aesthetic value of the city but also projects Nairobi as a progressive city.
The landmark building was largely constructed by local experts using locally sourced materials creating thousands of jobs for Kenyans which is in line with President Kenyatta’s Big 4 development agenda.
President Kenyatta commended the Royal Group of Companies, the developer of the new building, for showing continued confidence in Kenya’s growing economy through its investments saying the country encourages clean business.
“It is possible to do clean business and create wealth in Kenya,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State advised investors facing hurdles in the course of their business to directly seek audience with top government officials adding that his administration is working quietly but proactively to ensure that it achieves its objective of eliminating corruption.
“We are working quietly. The silent warriors in Government and the private sector will make this country succeed in the fight against corruption,” said President Kenyatta.
Commenting on Kenya’s real estate market, President Kenyatta said he was encouraged that the country’s property industry remains robust and that the World Bank has rated it the third most developed in Sub-Saharan Africa with assets equivalent to over 2.5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The Head of State noted that provisional estimates of the country’s GDP indicates that the economy expanded by an improved 5.7 per cent during the first quarter of 2018 compared to 4.8 per cent in a similar quarter the previous year.
“This growth is as a result of the efforts my Government has continued to put in place to enhance economic development,” said President Kenyatta.
Turning to his administration’s Big-4 development agenda where the construction of 500,000 affordable housing units by 2020 is a top priority, President Kenyatta urged the private sector to partner with the government to turn this goal into reality.
“Whereas the focus of the Government will be mainly to develop homes for the citizenry, the role of the Private Sector will be to develop commercial spaces for business enterprises,” said President Kenyatta.
Speaking at the event, Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko said the County Government will continue taking action against all structures that flout building laws.
Governor Sonko assured Nairobi residents that his government will demolish buildings illegally erected on public utility lands including land reserved for schools, in an effort to “correct mistakes of the past”.