Airgate Mall owner formerly known as Taj Mall, Rameshchandra Gorasia is in the process of being compensated for the planned demolition of the Sh5.48 billion property.
According to a letter dated July 31, 2018 Mr Gorasia wrote to the National Land Commission (NLC) asking to get paid directly without going through the proprietor identified as Samuel Mwatha Kang’ethe and Mary Samuel Kang’ethe of Abujar Limited.
A hearing report on review of grants and disposition of public lands dated May 20, 2016 the land was under Abujar Limited starting 1 January, 1991 to hold for 99 years.
A petrol station was going to be set up but when Taj Mall on February 29, 1996 applied for a change of user from petrol station to shops cum residential plot.
The Kang’ethe’s are apparently in court challenging the award which Mr Gorasia says he will not be party to.
During the hearing, then NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri determined that Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) did not fully establish that the government had acquired the land in 1960 hence the Taj Mall acquisition rendered legal.
Sources say that Mr Gorasia could have been bribed by the Taj Mall owner to let the land which KURA says had encroached on 60 metres road reserve.
In a letter dated June 27, 2016 seen by Kahawa Tungu Swazuri suggested that Taj Mall should remain standing as long as the owner does not extend the building any further.
He also proposed that it was the mall management restrict parking and exhibitions to the back open parking area and re-arrange the main entrance so as not to interfere with flow of traffic.
It still remains a mystery how KURA arrived at the decision to take down the mall and on November 24, 2015 went back on their findings.
KURA wrote to Gorasia letting him know that the authority would not need to have Taj Mall demolished after redesigning Outering and Eastern Bypass.
The multi billion shilling building will however be brought down on August 31 after Mr Gorasia dared the government.
Speaking on Thursday, the irate businessman asked the state to demolish the property which he insisted does not sit on public land.
He also noted that he has already lost billions of shillings following demolition threats from as long as five years ago.
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