Corruption and Incompetence Plague Nairobi’s Planning Department, Prompting Calls for Reform


The Nairobi County Planning Committee has raised serious concerns about the conduct of City planning officers, accusing them of corruption and incompetence.

The committee’s frustration became apparent when planning officials appeared before them without clear and proper documentation for scrutiny, leading Chairman Alvin Orlando to expel them from the meeting.

One of the major grievances is that city planners are suspected of tampering with the automated system, which has created substantial difficulties for architects and developers attempting to navigate the approval process. The automated system, designed to streamline and expedite the approval process, has been plagued with issues, making it virtually unusable. This has resulted in significant delays and added costs for those involved in construction projects.

Allegations have also surfaced, suggesting that certain city planning officials have been demanding bribes in exchange for approving building projects. This unethical practice not only undermines the integrity of the city’s planning department but also poses serious legal and safety risks. The demand for bribes has further fueled the problem of unauthorized construction, as some developers are driven to build without approvals due to the corrupt practices.

The consequences of this misconduct are evident in the spate of building collapses in Nairobi. Several poorly constructed buildings have tragically collapsed, resulting in the loss of lives and property damage. This issue underscores the urgent need to rectify the flaws within the planning and approval process.

“We will no longer tolerate this situation. This department has become a disgrace. How can one be made to wait for over a month to obtain approvals? This clearly demonstrates a lack of transparency,” emphasized Majority Leader Peter Imwatok.

Florence Nyole, the President of the Architectural Association of Kenya, shed further light on the dire situation during her appearance before the committee. She stated that it takes an astonishing 9-12 months to secure approval, a process further exacerbated by the malfunctioning automated system that City Hall has failed to address adequately. Nyole cited challenges such as unclear guidelines and a lack of proper system integration as contributing factors to the ordeal architects and developers currently face.

These revelations have sparked public outrage and calls for a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s planning and approval system to restore transparency, efficiency, and safety in construction projects

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