Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has reiterated that the ongoing demolition of buildings constructed on riparian land in Nairobi should be reviewed, adding that owners of the establishments are victims.
‘Baba Yao’ made the declaration barely a day after he evoked a public backlash for publicly opposing the demolitions and suggesting rivers should be diverted instead.
Speaking during an interview on NTV last night, the embattled Governor maintained that the demolitions should be stopped and a committee formed to look into other available alternatives.
He said it was unreasonable and uneconomical to bring down buildings sustaining the livelihoods of possibly over 30, 000 Kenyans.
Waititu noted that the loss and blame should lie on the government and not owners of the buildings.
“The owners of the buildings are innocent people who perhaps got loans from banks or received their retirement packages and invested in the construction of the buildings,” said Waititu.
“They (building owners) are the victims… the mistake is not on their side because they received all the required documents needed for constructing the buildings from the necessary government offices.”
‘Baba Yao’ further defended his earlier remarks on diverting rivers saying they should be redirected because “some of the owners of these buildings they are demolishing will probably just die because they have no other sources of livelihood.”
“My suggestion to the people behind the demolitions is that they should first halt the demolitions and then form a committee that includes the building owners, engineers, architects, designers and a representation of the people,” added Waititu.
“This should be done so that, when a building is selected for demolition, this committee contemplates and looks into other available alternatives; demolitions should only proceed if this committee agrees that there is no other available alternative.”
The former Kabete MP also called for the arrest and prosecution of government officials who gave clearance for the construction of buildings on riparian land.