Dar building collapse: Same contractor has more major projects in the city


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Feb 11, 2007
Dar building collapse: Same contractor has more major projects in the city

Dar es Salaam

THE controversial construction company behind the weekend fatal collapse of a high-rise Dar es Salaam building is currently undertaking several other similar building projects in the city way beyond its Class Five licence authorization, THISDAY can reveal today.

Fresh investigations have established that although N.K Decorators Limited is licensed by the Contractors Registration Board (CRB) to handle building projects of a value not exceeding 300m/-, it has managed to land a number of obviously multi-billion shilling projects within Dar es Salaam.

For instance, the company is named as the main contractor for an 11-storey residential apartments complex along Kitonga Street in the city’s Upanga area, now apparently approaching completion.

The Kitonga Street project is a joint venture between a private company, Prime Properties Limited, and the state-owned National Housing Corporation (NHC).

Jeam Associates, the same architects hired for the 10-storey building that crumbled to the ground in Dar es Salaam last Saturday killing at least one person, are also named in the same capacity for the Kitonga Street project.

Further investigations by THISDAY have revealed that N.K Decorators is also named as main contractor for another proposed 16-storey residential-cum-commercial building project along Libya Street in downtown Dar es Salaam.

This project is still in its early stages of execution.

According to our sources, the registered office of N.K Decorators - on plot number 832 Senegal Street in Upanga - is actually the residential home of company proprietor Kantlaar Premji Laxman, who is one of six people currently in police custody pending prosecution in connection with the weekend tragedy.

When asked if he was aware that the same contractor involved in the weekend tragedy is also behind several other mega building projects contrary to its licence authorization, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Abbas Kandoro, told THISDAY that the City Council is the competent authority to respond to the matter.

’’I am hardly knowledgeable of such things�there are authorities at the municipal level that deal with the licensing of building works,’’ the RC stated.

He reiterated a call for patience as a probe committee he has formed continues to investigate the causes and circumstances that led to the building collapse last Saturday.

According to various construction industry experts interviewed by THISDAY, it is illegal for a Class Five licence contractor like N.K Decorators to be hired as the main contractor for such large-scale building construction projects.

There are seven classes of contractors identified by the CRB, with Class One contractors the only ones allowed to undertake construction projects of unlimited magnitude.

Other classes of contractors with stated limits of the value of building projects they are allowed to handle are Class Two (up to 1.2bn/-), Class Three (900m/-), Class Four (600m/-), Class Five (300m/-), Class Six (150m/-), and Class Seven (75m/-).

According to the Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Suleiman Kova, the six people already arrested in connection with Saturday�s building collapse will soon be formally arraigned in court to face manslaughter charges after at least one person trapped in the rubble was pronounced dead.

Apart from the N.K Decorators proprietor, the other five are Mohsin Somji of McSoms Investments Limited (owner of the collapsed building); Ilala Municipal council engineer Robert Massoro; construction site supervisor Saesh Narah; consultant engineer Athanas Mwijage; and Jonas Mndeme, an architect designer for Jeam Associates and CODEC which were hired as project architects and structural engineers respectively.

The deceased victim of the tragedy, who was trapped in the collapsed building for three days before finally succumbing, has been identified as 45-year-old Shamte Said.

The almost-completed Kitonga Street residential complex, also built by the controversial N.K Decorators Limited. INSET: Yet another construction project of the same company, still at its nascent stage at the junction of Libya and Kisutu Streets in the city.
-Includes 11-storey Upanga ’skyscraper’ with NHC link
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