National Police Service Spokesman Charles Owino has said that a special desk has been set up at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters to register concerns of those affected by the ongoing demolitions.
Mr Owino asked owners of the buildings that have been earmarked for demolition to present all their approval documents that they were granted by relevant government agencies before they commenced construction.
“It is only fair that you go to the multi-agency taskforce to present your papers and also to come to our desk and you will be told whether it is earmarked for demolition or not. The desk will be open on weekdays from 8am to 4pm,” said Mr Owino on Friday.
He said that the process is supposed to aid in further investigations which will be carried out to prosecute people who have approved the constructions with impunity and without regard to the rule of law.
“In the process one may come up with a very genuine agreement that may save your property. It is also good for the purpose of your own personal defence,” he said.
Mr Owino also asked owners of buildings that have not been marked for demolition but believe they are built on riparian land should present their approved documents and land titles to the same desk for verification.
But he said that the demolitions will continue, arguing that the process cannot just stop because people have put in a lot of money in their properties so they can be given a leeway to destroy the environment.
“It cannot happen. Things must be done in the right way and this is going to be a lesson even to others who will be sitting today and saying I have been given instructions. The instruction maybe verbal and you may not be in a position to prove tomorrow that you were given the instruction so you have to take the responsibility,” he said.
At the same time, Mr Owino reiterated that government officers involved in the approval of buildings in riparian lands will face prosecution.
Mr Owino said that the move is aimed at setting a precedence for other government officers who are involved in approving illegalities that no matter their position, influence or money, they cannot be used to authenticate illegalities.
“We must have those persons who approved the buildings at that particular time to take responsibility. If you are a government officer and you were involved in approving an illegality then you must take responsibility,” said Mr Owino.
He asked investors to go through the requisite standards provided for in the law to avoid finding themselves in a position where one only relies on the money and power they have for influence, saying that money and power has limitations.
“If today you think you are influential because you know me you should know that tomorrow I will not be there and so you should only ensure that influence is based on legality,” he said.