Grand fall: Multimillion shilling Gigiri hotel comes down


The Grand Manor Hotel in Gigiri that was demolished for posing a security risk to ...
The Grand Manor Hotel in Gigiri that was demolished for posing a security risk to the UN offices in Nairobi.

Demolition of the multi-million Grand Manor hotel in Gigiri has kicked off.

The move comes two days after a Nairobi court issued the directive.

According to officials at City Hall, the building was erected without proper approval.

Despite a drawn-out court battle, officials insist that it poses a security threat to the neighboring United Nations offices and the U.S. embassy in Gigiri.

On its left is the High Commission of Botswana and on the right is the Embassy of Morocco.

Businessman Praful Kumar had put up a spirited fight to save the property.

In August this year, detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission arrested Mr. Kumar on allegations that he intended to bribe Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

The businessman was arraigned at a Mombasa court and charged with three counts of giving a bribe.

He denied the charges and was released on a Ksh.1million bond.

An expose on CitizenTV had revealed complaints filed by the Gigiri Village Association in 2015 concerning the hotel.

They claimed that the building violated physical planning regulations for the low-density estate.

According to them, the upmarket Gigiri area only accords residents low residential, one-family houses.

In 2016, county authorities demanded evidence showing that the owners of the building involved the embassies and residents in public participation.

A year later, the Ministry of Interior requested Nairobi County for technical advice saying embassies were threatening to move their bases from Nairobi if the matter was not resolved.

Months later, it was revealed that the businessman did not provide proof of any consultations with Gigiri residents or the consulates.

The Grand Manor Hotel was nearing completion, with the hotel already equipping some of the rooms ready to open the doors to its clients.

 

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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