National Construction Authority (NCA) will get powers to demolish unfit buildings.
NCA is seek the powers to deploy SANNY if MPs approve changes in a new Bill that will give the regulator teeth to bite and the muscles to topple.
The State wants MPs to amend the National Construction Authority Act 2011 to empower the NCA board to investigate defective buildings, hold an engineer, architect or quantity surveyor accountable for collapsed buildings and refer them for a criminal trial.
Currently, tbe law gives the NCA limited powers under section 23(3) (c) of the NCA Act 2011 to suspend a construction site for non-compliance.
“The National Construction Authority Act is amended by inserting the following new section…the board may institute an inquiry into defects in a building to establish the cause of the defects on its own initiative or upon receipt of a complaint addressed to the board in writing made by or on behalf of any person alleging defects in a building approved by a registered person,” the proposed law states.
Several properties have in recent times collapsed due to deficiency in the design, poor workmanship or failure in the maintenance.
In 2016, an audit ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta revealed that most buildings collapse because of poor quality concrete, weak foundation and low-quality building stones.
The NCA has been pushing for legal reforms to give it prosecutorial powers in a bid to rein in defective buildings.
The Business Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 sponsored by Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya seeks to review the NCA Act to give the authority more powers.
If passed into law, building professionals will be held to account.
The Bill clarifies the term “relevant professional” used in the NCA Act, 2011 to mean a person who is registered as an engineer under the Engineers Act, 2011, or as an architect or quantity surveyor under the Architects and Quantity Surveyors Act.
The Bill require that upon conclusion of an inquiry, the board shall prepare a report which shall outline the findings on the cause of the defects in the building.
The report will also recommend that the liability of the defects is apportioned either on the contractor, relevant professional or the owner of the building.
The board will further recommend appropriate remedial action against the contractor in accordance with the Act, and submit a copy of the report to the respective regulators of the relevant professionals or criminal investigation agencies for further remedial action.
The law currently gives the board power to suspend any contractor if convicted of an offence under the Act, is found guilty of any act or omission amounting to improper, disgraceful conduct or gross professional misconduct, after due inquiry held by the board.