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Eastleigh businessmen concerned over President Ruto's high-rise building restrictions

Tuesday June 11, 2024

NAIROBI, Kenya (HOL) — Nairobi's Eastleigh Chamber of Commerce has voiced concerns about Kenyan President William Ruto's recent statement about constructing high-rise buildings in the neighbourhood.

During the 60th anniversary of the Kenya Air Force on Saturday, Ruto stressed the need for legal protocols to be followed when constructing buildings near the military base in Eastleigh. He emphasized the importance of protecting the military camp at Moi Station and distinguishing between legal and illegal construction activities.

Omar Hussein, Secretary General of the Eastleigh Chamber of Commerce, warned that the president's remarks could cause confusion and potential harassment for local business people. He pointed out that builders must comply with Nairobi's laws and administrative regulations but feared that the new statement might lead to disputes over the legality of ongoing construction projects.

"The president's recent statement, along with his previous remarks about increasing building heights to 30 stories due to limited land, could cause concern among businessmen. They might face harassment and be told their constructions are illegal and must stop," Hussein told the BBC.

The Chamber of Commerce is particularly concerned because Ruto had previously lifted restrictions on building heights during a visit to Eastleigh a month ago. At that time, he allowed buildings up to 25-30 stories to address the housing needs of the growing community. However, during the anniversary event, he announced that after consultations, his government decided to limit building heights to 12 stories to avoid security risks and potential plane collisions with high-rise buildings.

Abdirahman Dahir, chairman of the Eastleigh Chamber of Commerce, urged home builders to follow the law and not be affected by the president's statement. "We aim to reinforce our commitment to these measures by encouraging all home builders to adhere to the plans approved by the Nairobi City Government," Dahir said at a press conference.

The conflicting statements have left housebuilders uncertain about the future of their projects. They are now seeking a meeting with the local government of Nairobi to find a solution, especially for those whose construction plans have already been approved.

W/ files from the BBC


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