I don't care, God is watching, Taj Mall boss says on demolition

Airgate/Taj Mall MD Ramesh Gorasia has seemingly thrown in the towel in the matter of its demolition. Speaking to journalists on Thursda...

Airgate/Taj Mall MD Ramesh Gorasia addresses a press conference in Nairobi on the impending demolition of the building, August 16, 2018. /COURTESY
Airgate/Taj Mall MD Ramesh Gorasia has seemingly thrown in the towel in the matter of its demolition.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Gorasia said the government should destroy the building if it wants to but that "God is watching".
"If they want to continue, God is there for them. [National Land Commission chair Muhammad] Swazuri has messed my life. Look at his life ... it's a mess ... whoever wants to mess my life, its okay. God will punish them," he said. "I will just go to court and ask for my claim. It might take years but it's okay."
A visibly angry and emotional Gorasia said that since he put up the mall, he has not had peace in the area.
"The mall has been unlucky for me for the past five years [sic] ... I am tired of demolitions everyday ... Demolish it. Who cares? I will just get my money. If not today, my grandchildren will [sic]," he said.
An undated photo of the mark for demolition on Airgate Mall, formerly known as Taj Mall, in Nairobi county. /COURTESY
He added: "Please, if you want to demolish it, clear it. Don't damage it, just bring it down ... if you don't have the money to demolish it then don't do it. KURA has not been able to demolish it for the last five years. Now some stupid agency has been created to frustrate investors in the country.
"I am shocked that we have professionals who do it deliberately or innocently. When you talk about public land, it is leased land. We pay rent to the government."
The Managing Director, however, pleaded with President Uhuru Kenyatta to reconsider the move, saying the structure could be used as a school.

"My President, don't demolish it because it does not affect the road. [It can be for public use]. It's a strong building that can last long."
 The mall was officially opened on August 1, 2011 by then Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka. It's reportedly valued at Sh5.5 billion.
Occupants of the mall have until August 30 to vacate the premises ahead of its demolition.
Earlier on Thursday, MA Nyakiongora, chairman of the multi-sectoral committee on unsafe structures, said that the illegal building will be pulled down.
"It has encroached on the road reserve and way-leave hindering the construction of Outering Road," he said in a notice seen by the Star.
About 4,000 buildings are earmarked for demolition in an operation to clear illegal structures from river banks in Nairobi.
The operation is being led by the Nairobi Regeneration team, which was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta last December to perform duties including cleaning and reclaiming Nairobi River.

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Today in Kenya: I don't care, God is watching, Taj Mall boss says on demolition
I don't care, God is watching, Taj Mall boss says on demolition
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