Ukay Centre owners want Ksh.2.3B compensation over demolition

Ukay Centre owners want Ksh.2.3B compensation over demolition
File image of the Ukay Centre in Westlands being demolished in August 2018. PHOTO| COURTESY

Kental Enterprises, the company behind Ukay Centre that was demolished in August last year, has sued the government for Ksh.2.3 billion in damages.

The company insists its building plans were approved by the then Nairobi City Council in 1994 and the demolition now constitutes compulsory acquisition of their piece of land, which necessitates compensation.

According to court papers at the Environment and Land Court in Nairobi, Kental Enterprises, the developer of Ukay Center is demanding compensation for the demolition of the structure — a mall that sat on three plots of land the company values at Ksh.2.3 billion.

The first plot of land is estimated at Ksh.1.85 billion while the second and third plots are valued Ksh.230 million shillings each, with the computation also including disturbance allowance.

The company describes the demolition as a compulsory acquisition of the three parcels of land by the state and as such they want to be exempted from paying any land rates, rent or tax on the parcels of land from the date of the demolition of Ukay centre.

The Attorney General, the Nairobi City County, National Environment and Management Authority, the Water Resources Management Authority and the National Youth Service that undertook the demolition exercise under the Nairobi Regeneration Initiative have been listed as respondents.

Describing the demolition as unlawful and breach of the constitutional provision on ownership and acquisition of property, Kental Enterprises claims its building plans for Ukay Centre were approved by the then Nairobi City Council in 1994 and a subsequent amendments to the plans were approved by the city council in 1995.

The 25-year-old Ukay Centre, which was in an expansive two-acre area, was reduced to rubble on account that it sat on riparian land.

It was commissioned in 1994 and had 45 tenants — Nakumatt Supermarket being the longest. The mall had about 450 workers.

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Story By Sam Ogina
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