National environment watchdog (NEMA) has brought down Java House coffee outlet in Kileleshwa on Monday morning in the ongoing crackdown on riparian land in Nairobi.
A Shell petrol station and a Safe Dose pharmacy were also closed in the demolitions as Nema said theb businesses were operating in a building erected near the banks of Nairobi River.
The demolitions caught workers at the three business premises unawares, sparking fear and confusion as they hurriedly started salvaging property including cookery, drinks, furniture, microwaves, ovens among others as the bulldozer tore down their building.
In a tweet, Java House on Monday said the Kileleshwa outlet would remain closed, without giving details.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, our Java Kileleshwa branch will remain closed until further notice. You can still enjoy your daily Java at neighbouring branches on Lenana Road and Hurlingham,” it said.
Nema said it would issue a statement on the demolitions from 10am but an official who was supervising the exercise told reporters that they were out to take back illegally occupied wetlands in the capital.
The official claimed Nema issued a notice to Java, Shell and other businesses operating from the targeted land to vacate three months ago but it was ignored.
The final notice, he alleged, was issued last week but was also not heeded.
But workers at the site told the Nation that Nema neither gave official eviction orders nor communication about the demolition.
According to Mr Zachary Shariff and Dr Abdi Noor Shariff of Safe Dose pharmacy, property worth millions of shillings was destroyed in the demolitions.
The Shariffs also complained that unlike Java and Shell, whose property was being removed before the building was demolished, they did not get a chance to salvage anything.