Appeals Court suspends Manor hotel demolition

Court of Appeal yesterday suspended further demolition of multi-million-shilling Grand Manor Hotel near the US embassy in Gigiri.

This is after the hotel proprietor Praful Kumar sought orders to stop further demolition of the property.  Appellate judges Mohamed Warsame, Daniel Musinga and Prof Otieno Odek directed the stay order to operate pending hearing and determination of the appeal filed by Kumar.

“In the meantime, status quo of the property L.R. NAIROBI/BLOCK 91/239 is to be maintained pending the hearing of the appeal,” ruled the judges.

Kumar, through lawyer Paul Muite and Githinji Marete,  told the court that 80 per cent of the building is still standing.

“Following the issuance of a Conservatory Order by the Hon Justice Eboso on December 13, 2018, the applicant has entered upon its property and found the same is substantially damaged and the upper part thereof is not yet affected and may be salvaged subject to expert assessment and advice,” said Muite.

Legal issues

He argued further demolition of the subject property shall render the intended appeal from the decision of Justice Eboso completely nugatory. “The intended appeal raises serious constitutional and legal issues and has reasonable chances of success,” said Muite.

He said the Appellate Court has the jurisdiction and mandate to intervene and grant the orders sought to preserve the subject property pending the determination of the appeal.

Nairobi County government lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui opposed orders suspending the demolition, saying the hotel has failed to use other avenues put in place.

Kinyanjui told the judges the hotel poses a security threat to the US and Morocco embassies as well as United Nations and other diplomatic offices which have raised security concerns.  The court directed the matter be heard on a priority basis.

Kumar hit the headlines late last year when Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission detectives arrested him for reportedly trying to bribe Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko over the project.

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