Nema gives developer of Shanzu beach hotel ultimatum

An excavator on August 16, 2018 clears sand at the site where a hotel is set for construction, in Shanzu, Mombasa. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Details emerged that some of the security guards who assaulted the journalists were prison warders guarding the site.
  • The National Construction Authority gave the building a green light under Reg. No 301031560016.

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has given the developer of Dolphin hotel in Shanzu seven days to remove sand that has been levelled on a public beach.

Mombasa Nema boss Stephen Wambua said in a telephone interview on Saturday that the contractor used sand to prevent sea level rise, hence restricting public access of the beach.

"All that area along the coastline has a lot of underground sand. When we did our inspection on Friday, we found that they had used some of the sand from their site to hit it on the public beach and level it.

"We found that a non-compliance because once you hit the sand, then you are creating a barrier to free movement of the public on the beach and also the free flow of high tide water," Mr Wambua said.

He said that Nema will return to the site next week to check whether the developer has complied.

"I gave them an improvement notice to remove that dumped sand. We served them with the order on Friday and within the next seven days we shall go back and inspect," he said.

Regarding the beach's accessibility to the public, the Nema boss said the matter should be determined by the county administration.

On Friday, Mombasa Land executive Edward Nyale, Mr Wambua, county inspectorate officers and activists toured the construction site of former Dolphin Hotel.

They were also joined by those managing the construction.

Nema and the county government were put to task on their delay in reclaiming sea land.


The Friday visit coincided with the recoding of statements by Nation reporters Karim Rajan and Laban Walloga who were assaulted by security personnel guarding the site.

The officers also recorded their statements the same day at Bamburi police station.

Details also emerged that some of the security guards who assaulted the journalists were prison warders guarding the site.

Four officers operating in shifts have been guarding the site.

Police sources revealed that they were deployed "officially".

"The beating of journalists and security offered at this hotel is a sign it is owned by a very powerful individual," Muslim for Human Rights (Muhuri) chairman Khelef Khalifa said.


Mr Nyale termed as "unusual" the scooping of sand at the beach by an excavator, which by Friday had been taken away from the site.

The Land executive promised to give a report of the investigations in two days.

"We have given our officers two days to come up with their report on the matter, and if the contractor has contravened the construction laws then appropriate action will be taken against them.

"We have had cases of approvals being given, but some contractors breach the law," Mr Nyale said.

The hotel is being built on 81,145 acres of land at an estimated cost of Sh600 million.

On the Nema website, details show that the construction is under Weston Hotel Limited but the project title is "Proposed Alteration and Extension of Dolphin Hotel", registration number NEMA/EIA/PSR/6347.

The agency's construction application status shows the works were approved.

The same details were found in the county construction registration site.

The National Construction Authority also gave the building a green light under Reg. No 301031560016.

According to documents obtained by the Nation, the developer's name is Weston Hotel Limited and the applicant's Mr Joseph K.Maswan.

Weston Hotel general manager Michael Nzile's phone number is listed as the developer's.


Records further indicate that the land hosting the project has a lease of 95 years. Additionally, the hotel will have at least three floors.

Asked whether Nema approved the construction, Mr Wambua replied: "Please give us time to do our investigations. We got information that there is an issue here and we have come down here to see what it is going on but a full report will be issued."

The county government approved the contractor, Avco Agencies Limited, in 2016.

However, that same year, the county stopped the construction after residents complained of debris being dumped on a public road.

Meanwhile, Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG) pushed for a halt of the construction, and threatened to sue if the county did not do so.


CSRG presiding convener Suba Churchill further called on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to establish and reveal publicly the owner of the land.

"If indeed it is independently established that the said plot under construction is owned by a State or public officer, and that the said State or public officer used the police to protect personal interests at the expense of public interest, the said public officer and the police should be charged in court with abuse of office," Mr Churchill said in a statement.

An earlier report on Saturday morning indicated that the registration number for the construction had been deleted, which was incorrect.