Multi-million hotel in Sonko bribery saga faces demolition


Multi-million hotel in Sonko bribery saga faces demolition
The Grand Manor Hotel in Gigiri, Nairobi. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • Documents seen by Citizen TV show that Gigiri residents and several embassies have been pushing to have the hotel’s construction halted amid claims that it compromises the area’s security.
  • The governor now wants the developer to demolish the floors above the second floor in keeping with city regulations for the area.
  • A spot check by Citizen TV showed that construction of the multi-million facility was nearing completion, with the hotel already equipping some of the rooms ready to open the doors to its clients.

A Nairobi businessman may have to demolish his multi-million hotel in Nairobi’s posh area of Gigiri, even as he fights allegations that he attempted to bribe Governor Mike Sonko.

Documents seen by Citizen TV show that Gigiri residents and several embassies have been pushing to have the hotel’s construction halted amid claims that it compromises the area’s security.

The Grand Manor Hotel is situated opposite the US Embassy on one side, and the United Nations head offices on the other side. On its left, is the High Commission of Botswana and on the right is the Embassy of Morocco stretching to its backyard.

The genesis of controversy partly stems from its proximity to the embassies, with the foreign missions writing to the county government and the foreign affairs ministry to protest its construction.

But the hotel has been under construction with the approval of the Nairobi City County government.

Citizen TV on Tuesday established that the Gigiri Village Association filed a complaint in July 2015, lamenting that the putting up of a commercial structure in the area violated physical planning regulations for the low-density estate.

Residents argued that the area should be limited to low residential, one-family houses as it had no facilities to support the hotel.

In December 2016, the county government demanded proof of public participation of the residents and the embassies threatening to cancel the approval.

The Interior Ministry, in August 2017, wrote to the County Government of Nairobi seeking technical advise as some of the embassies had threatened to move their bases from Nairobi were the matter not to be resolved.

In December last year, the county government wrote to the Foreign Affairs Ministry confirming that the developer had not shown evidence of consultations with the embassy.

This is the second time this year that the construction of the Grand Manor hotel was being stopped. A spot check by Citizen TV showed that construction of the multi-million facility was nearing completion, with the hotel already equipping some of the rooms ready to open the doors to its clients.

The developer, Mr. Praful Kumar was on Monday night arrested by EACC officials in Kilifi, on allegations that he intended to bribe Governor Sonko to compromise him on the matter.

The governor now wants the developer to demolish the floors above the second floor in keeping with city regulations for the area. But that may interfere with the integrity of the building.

Mr. Kumar is set to be arraigned in court on Wednesday over the alleged bribery attempt.

Businessman Praful Kumar arrested at his residence in Kanamai, Kilifi County. He was found with Ksh.5 million in cash. PHOTO| COURTESY

 

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