DPP now goes after officials who approved construction on riparian land

DPP now goes after officials who approved construction on riparian land

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has ordered for investigations into the circumstances and procedures under which structures said to be sitting on riparian land were built.

In a statement issued Thursday evening, the DPP asked the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti to conduct investigations into why and how individuals were issued the approval for construction on riparian land.

“It has been widely reported in both print and electronic media that the Multi-Agency Task Force of Nairobi River Regeneration is in the process of demolishing buildings and/or structures built on the Riparian Land,” reads part of the statement.

“Accordingly, in consultation with the Cabinet Secretary for Environment Keriako Tobiko, I have directed the DCI to immediately commence comprehensive investigations to establish the circumstances, the procedures and the persons who irregularly and/or illegally issued approvals for the construction of any buildings and/or structures on riparian land.”

Haji further instructed the DCI to submit a progress report together with the duplicate police file perusal and further directions after every 21 days.

This comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered for the arrest and prosecution of government officials who approved the construction of buildings set up on riparian.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, Mr. Kenyatta said the government will not only continue demolishing structures lying on illegal lands, but will also go after public officers who sanctioned the illegal constructions.

“We are not going to just punish those who built. I want to assure you that we are going after all those who issued those permits. Those ones will be prosecuted… Be they county officials, lands officials or NEMA officials, they will be prosecuted because they are equally to fault as those who build,” said Kenyatta.

Buildings linked to the high ranking individuals have recently been reduced to rubble as the government cracks down on structures erected on riparian land.

Kenyan laws define riparian land as being a minimum of 6 metres and up to a maximum of 30 metres on either side of a river bank from the highest water mark.

Shell Petrol station, Java Restaurant, South End Mall, all in Nairobi, are some of the major establishments whose owners have been left counting losses amounting to millions of shillings in this crackdown.