Nairobi City County wants the Shree Visa Oshwal Community Centre to be brought down as it sits on riparian land.
The Attorney General and the county government have argued that the building’s approvals were obtained illegally.
“That despite obtaining the approvals from the defunct city council, the same were obtained irregularly or illegally as they were issued in utter disregard of the overriding public interest in the waterway and riparian land,” reads an affidavit filed in court.
The AG insists that the community centre’s construction diverted Nairobi River’s course and the county government should not be barred from exercising a duty vested on it by the constitution, especially in a key role like conservation of the environment.
The county through Prof Wambua Musili claims that if deprived of its constitutional right or mandate to preserve and manage riparian areas, then residents of Nairobi would consequently be highly prejudiced since they would have been disposed of the land preserved for public use.
In August, Oshwal Centre obtained a court order temporarily barring the county from demolishing it.
Through their lawyer, Elijah Mwangi, the community says argues that the property has been used for the past 14 years during religious cultural and social functions with the approval of the defunct City Council.
Documents show that the Community has a lease of 99 years from August 1, 1985 and that the title allows them to utilise the property as permitted.
The community has erected a massive complex consisting of a temple, a library, auditorium, wedding halls, sports facilities and other incidental facilities on the property.
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