Sunday, 10 August 2014

Mayor Slaa: Go tell it to the birds

          I've written several pieces prior reminding Lands, Housing and Human Settlements minister Prof Anna Tibaijuka of her promise to yank down the killer building at Indira Gandhi Street.  I blamed the good lady for dragging her feet. Had I known the true story, I’d not have done so though she still can’t escape boozers’ wrath due to the fact that she’s nary told us the whole truth regarding this ping-pong stance as far as tugging down the thing is concerned.
          News that Ilala Municipal is unable to bring down the killer edifice due to expenses shocked many. It came to light that the said structure’s refused to come down thanks to connections by the owners whereby many pretexts are offered. Recently we’re told that the Municipal failed to demolish the thing citing costs as an obstacle. Wow! How many people’d die so that the said costs can be ignored?
          Why’d the Municipal worry about cost while it is supposed to be shouldered by the owners of the killer building? This is the law. Is cost the problem really or pretexts? Eng. Fanuel Kalugendo, head of Disaster Preparedness Management Unit in the Prime Minister Office rubbished such pretexts saying, “To my knowledge, the owners of the building are the ones responsible for its demolition.” If this is the law where do high costs come from? Who is trying to cheat who in this saga whose genesis proves that money changed hands. This is why the said two buildings were built illegally.
          To show that there’s simian biz going on in this saga, Kalugendo added, “Ilala municipal has to ensure the exercise is successful because they have already offered permit for the demolition.” The engineer doesn't beat around the bush. He states the raw law as it is.  He adds, “The Ilala municipal must ensure that all sub-standard buildings are demolished in time before they can cause any disasters and cost people’s lives.” In other words, Ilala Municipal that, from the outset endorsed the construction of the said buildings seems to be the obstacle but not costs. Ilala Municipal Mayor, Jerry Silaa’s quoted saying that over 600/- million is needed to bring down the building. Many wonder how Silaa can bear the cost while the law states that the owners are the ones supposed to demolish their building with their own costs.
 In his interview with one Daily, Ilala Municipal Mayor, Jerry Siilaa had said that over 600m/- is needed for the demolition, an amount that is, according to him, too high for the municipal. Many wonder still to note that even if the Ilala Municipal were legally supposed to demolish the building at the cost of 600/- million, why’d it hesitate as if the lives of people such a building can cost are nothing. For, we’re told that the sister building that collapsed last year killed at least 36 people and injured many more. Silaa needs to tell us the rationale of, first, shouldering the costs that are supposed to be borne by the owners and secondly, if human lives are nothing compared to the costs. Again, Silaa can’t be serious. If he is, there must be something murky going on.
          Now given that mavens in the area have already stated the position of the law, Mr Silaa, if you like, please stop hoo-has. Let the job be done as soon as possible. It doesn't cross the mind to state that your Municipal can’t demolish the killer building due to high costs. We know. You as well know. The cost will be shouldered by the owners of the building. And this is the rule. Whenever somebody erects a structure illegally, legally speaking, he or she is the one responsible for its demolition. How come many wananchi do demolish all structures they erect illegally but it becomes different when the said building is ordered to be demolished? To help you Mr Silaa, press an ad asking volunteers to demolish the building conditionally that they’ll take all the debris. You’ll get many volunteers as far as I know at this time scraps and debris are on high demand. So sir, try to deal with this matter honestly instead of pretexts that can nary convince even a bird with its small cranium and brain.
Source: ThisDay Aug., 11, 2014.

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