Kenya: Government bulldozers descend on business Thika Road

Officials say traders had been warned of operation
Daily Nation
kenya2Bulldozers pull down the building housing Nakumatt Thika Road branch. Photo/JOSEPH MATHENGE

Government bulldozers descended on business premises on a road reserve along Thika Road on Saturday morning and destroyed property worth millions.

The Nakumatt Thika Road branch, Roy Transmotors, Vision Grill restaurant and Kenol service station were demolished in the operation which began at 5 a.m.

Security firms had to hurriedly empty automated teller machines of Barclays, Equity and NIC banks before they were destroyed. The operation attracted a large crowd and caused a heavy traffic jam on the usually busy road for the better part of the morning.

Armed Administration Police officers had a hard time keeping looters at bay as the demolition continued. But some managed to grab items, especially from the supermarket.

Rashid Hilowle, the security team boss, said they had arrested a man trying to cart away a colour TV from the supermarket.

The owner of Visions Grill, Mr Henry Mureithi, allowed people to eat and drink to their fill before the restaurant was pulled down.

At the Kenol service station next to Nakumatt, employees emptied the tanks which the manager, Mr Jonathan Onyango, said had 26,000 litres of fuel worth over Sh3 million.

Ministry of Roads officials on site told the Sunday Nation that the businesses had been served with a notice three months ago but were reluctant to leave the premises. More demolitions are anticipated in the coming days.