Company puts up building on JKIA land - Daily Nation

Manchester Knits company puts up building on JKIA land

Monday September 3 2018

Manchester Knits factory

Manchester Knits factory off Mombasa road. The Kenya Airports Authority has opposed the construction of the factory as it is within the approach funnel to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. PHOTO | STEPHEN MUTHINI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By STEPHEN MUTHINI
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A private developer has erected a structure on Jomo Kenyatta International Airport land, putting the safety of passengers arriving at great risk.

In an April 11 letter, Kenya Airports Authority opposed the construction of the building on a plot of land which lies within the approach funnel to the runway.

The letter, seen by the Nation, is copied to Manchester Outfitters — a garment manufacturer — and the Commissioner of Lands. The letter is signed by KAA managing director MS Muriithi.

“The above plot lies within the approach funnel to the runway … an area which should be free from obstacles, for the safety of aircraft on approach,” the letter says.

"The plot is shown edged in red on the attached plan of the area and in fact, we have already written to the Commissioner of Lands requesting him to revoke any allocation made in this area.”

MISSING DIRECTOR

Manchester Outfitters, however, went ahead with the construction though the building is still unoccupied.

A guard manning the gate referred the Nation to Dunga Road in the Industrial Area where the company’s main factory and headquarters are is located.

The premises off Mombasa Road is next to the fence of the airport funnel.

Next to Manchester Knits is an iron and steel factory while across the road are other business buildings, including godowns.

The Nation could not establish if the other buildings are also on airport land. 

For three days, the Nation unsuccessfully sought to hear from Manchester Oufitters directors on the matter.

COURT CASE

One of the managers wanted to know if we have documents and referred us to another director the following day.

However, we were told that the director in question was absent when we visited and could not be reached by phone.

A Mr Paul Kainganga, who identified himself as the personal assistant to the director, said his boss could not comment on the issue as it is subject of a court case.

A cursory glance at the Kenya Law Reports shows that Manchester Outfitters whose directors are listed as Mohan Galot, Rajesh Galot, Pravin Galot, Ganesh Galot and Kevin Galot are not new to court cases.

MANCHESTER OUTFITTERS

They have been in and out of court over the management of the company since 2009.

In one of the cases, Mr Mohan Galot accused his nephew Pravin of registering a company with a name similar to Manchester Outfitters (EA) Ltd.

The company makes police uniform and other garments.

A security expert said an unoccupied building near such an installation is a threat to a country like Kenya which is battling terrorism within and outside its borders.