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City Hall on the spot over restaurant lease

By KIARIE NJOROGE February 16th, 2015 1 min read

An investor was granted lease to use City Hall-owned Bowling Green Restaurant nine months before bids for renting out the facility were advertised, a dossier tabled at the County Assembly by Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko has showed.

The restaurant located in City Park was offered to a company called Safari Social Club in July 2013, but the advertisement for bids came later and were to be opened in March 2014; nine months later.

The revelation is contained in documents tabled by Mr Sonko during the opening session of the County Assembly last week.

“Leasing of the premises to M/s Safari Social Club flouted procurement rules thereby occasioning loss of colossal sums to the Nairobi City County,” said Mr Sonko in a letter addressed to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The restaurant fell vacant in May 2013 after the then county government shut it down over Sh5 million rent arrears owed by previous tenants.

The county indicated it would advertise for expression of interest after it had done renovations, but instead offered the facility to Safari Social Club. It was this company that later did the renovations.

According to an investigation report , the decision to offer the restaurant to the company was done secretly without the input of the land, planning and housing executive.

The restaurant sits on 1.2 acres and is let for Sh70,000 a month.