Owners of godowns built on Jomo Kenyatta International Airport land are unmoved even after the lapse of a demolition notice by the National Buildings Inspectorate (NBI).
The inspectorate secretary Moses Nyakiongora gave the godown owners a 14-day notice on September 25, but the owners have stayed put claiming that they have ownership documents.
“I do not know how they say it is an illegal structure. We got all the approvals from the City Council and Nema. We are second owners and have documents from the lands office,” Mr Pravin Dalilnya said.
The notice indicates that the godown owners did not seek approval from the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA). According to documents the Nation saw, the buildings pose a danger because they are on the flight path.
A report by the Parliamentary Public Investments Committee (PIC) shows that individuals acquired 67 per cent of the airport’s land before it was surveyed.
The Commissioner of Lands allocated the land to 60 individuals and companies, according to the report.
Manchester Outfitters, whose fence the committee recommended that it be pulled down, has since built a godown on the plot. The company, which manufactures garments, has put up a building called Manchester Knits on the property located off Mombasa Road.
According to the committee, Manchester Outfitters’ plot LR 209/24092 is on the flight path.
The committee recommended that the plot be repossessed and the fence demolished|
A letter from KAA had also opposed the company’s encroachment on its land.
“The above plot lies within the approach funnel to the runway at JKIA, an area which should be free from obstacles for safety of aircraft approaching to land at the airport,” the letter states.
“We have written to the Commissioner of Lands requesting him to revoke any allocation already made in this area,” KAA stated.
The authority concluded that any proposed development on the land should not be approved.
A spot check by the Nation, however, revealed that Manchester Outfitters had gone ahead with the construction of new premises, which was complete although not yet occupied.
Contacted, a manager said he was not aware of the notice. He sought more time to find out more about the document.
The PIC report on the Accounts of State Corporations also listed illegally allocated KAA land in Kisumu, Eldoret, Malindi and Ukunda where a total of 972.36 hectares was lost.
“The committee heard that some 972.36 hectares of land previously handed over to the authority were subsequently carved out and allocated to private developers,” the report stated.
PIC observed that the Commissioner of Lands purported to retain control, administration and power to allocate KAA land before it was surveyed.
Consequently, the commissioner allocated the land without consulting the authority.
The Ministry of Lands is also said to own plot LR 209/24088, which is on the flight path.
The PIC report recommends that illegal structures be demolished and the land repossessed.
While the land carved out is about two-thirds of the total land originally owned by the airports authority, KAA does not give an adequate explanation as to who owns the parcels, the committee concludes.