This is what remained of the building that house Pimp My Ride in the Nairobi CBD after it was demolished on the orders of Governor Mike Sonko. Credit: Kevin Namunwa.

Business owners at a building that housed Pimp My Ride East Africa are counting losses after Governor Mike Sonko ordered for the demolition of the building.

Personnel from the City Hall on Monday Morning demolished the building, which stands on the land previously occupied by Simmers Restaurant along Kenyatta Avenue in the Central Business District, claiming that it was illegal.  The restaurant was also demolished on grounds it was occupying city county land.

In addition to Pimp My Ride East Africa, which dealt with car washing, maintenance and pampering services, the building also housed photocopying and clothes outlets.

Affected traders claim that the officers walked into the area at around 9 am and marked the building as illegal. They returned a few minutes later and started arresting traders and employees in the area before demolishing the building.

James Saitoti, a manager of Pimp My Ride, said they had not been served with any notices of eviction or court order prior to the demolitions.

Kenja Muthoi, one of the affected business people, said that there is more to this than what sees the eye. “This is the governor sorting his personal issues with the owner of the building. I had two businesses at the building worth a lot of money,” Muthoi told Business Today at the demolished site.

Kenja Muthoi makes a call after the demolition of their business premises. Credit: Kevin Namunwa. 

On Saturday,  Sonko had issued a warning to a prominent businessman who he said was behind an incident where a group of goons armed with machetes and other crude weapons arrived at a church  and school in Buruburu started to demolish it. Several pupils were injured during the incident.

Sonko arrived at the scene thereafter and stopped the exercise. Some of those sent to demolish the building were arrested by officers from the City Inspectorate.

The governor said he knew the person who was behind the demolition and that he will not respond in kind. The traders claim that this demolition is as a result of the standoff between Sonko and the owner.

They expressed shock at the turn of events having secured business permits from City Hall Annex without a fuss.

 

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