Chinese workers arrested as Sonko halts building of 5-star hotel

Chinese workers arrested as Sonko halts building of 5-star hotel

Over 15 Chinese workers were arrested and charged with erecting a building in Westlands, Nairobi without approval.

They were seized alongside two of their Kenyan counterparts over the illegal construction of Avic International building that was apparently to host the JW Marriot, a chain of hotels with headquarters in the U.S.

“We wish to inform the general public especially people residing around Parklands, Westlands and Riverside that we have this morning stopped the construction of the Avic International building along the Waiyaki Way/ Chiromo road and arrested all the Chinese and Kenyan contractors on site for defying the county planning laws by encroaching on the famous Chiromo close public access,” said a statement from Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Facebook.

Sonko further claimed that the name of the site manager was missing from the charge sheet as he went on to accuse owners of the building of refusing to surrender the property.

A model of the skyscraper that Avic International was to build in Westlands, Nairobi.
A model of the skyscraper that Avic International was to build in Westlands, Nairobi. Photo/COURTESY

The damning allegations also revealed that Avic International allegedly paid $2 million (Ksh.200,000,000) in cash to the previous administration as “protection fee”.

The Governor also warned that county officials who have been linked to the construction of the Avic International building will be sent home.

Kuanzia Tito Kilonzi head of security compliance, Kathenge head of planning and approvals, arresting officers and the county prosecutor you will all go home by end of today (Thursday),” Sonko added.

The Chinese contractors and their two Kenyan colleagues denied  the charge and were released on Ksh.100,00 cash bail each.

The mentioning of the case was set on September 4, 2018.