The Nakuru County Executive Committee ( CEC) for Lands, Housing and Physical Planning, Frank Mwangi has ordered the immediate closure of the giant Gilanis Wholesale and Supermarket pending investigations into the stability of the building where it is housed.
The CEC, who was accompanied by the Chief Officer Lands, Judy Leah Waihenya during a visit to the supermarket, said that operations of the leading retail and wholesale chain would remain suspended until a report on the status of the building is received.
He said that since concerns had been raised over structural stability of the building, it is only fair to close it down for further investigations to be carried out. The closure will allow thorough investigations to be undertaken, the CEC added.
The CEC said the visit was prompted by concerns raised by some members of the public.
He said during their inspection of the building on Thursday they noticed some structural defects which cannot be repaired while the business is still in operation.
“They need to close for a few days as they sort out some of the issues within the building,” Mwangi said
He however said the move should not be misconstrued as discouraging investors but driven by the need to protect the public.
A Senior Public Health Officer from the County, Paul Waititu said the Department had also instructed the management to cease operations until concerns over structural defects in the facility are addressed.
The decision to close the supermarket, which is run by the Gilani family came in the wake of a sustained social media campaign following reports that the building had developed major cracks that were being repaired secretly.
Employees were the first to raise the red flag saying that they were fearing for their own safety. The post was then picked up by social media enthusiasts who sustained the demand to have the building inspected.
A team that had earlier visited the building had its findings rejected after it emerged that it did not have a structural engineer on board.
Meanwhile, staffers claimed that following their consistent complaints, the management of the building, which was constructed several decades ago, had simply been sending some fundis at night who seal and paint over the cracks without any substantial repairs being undertaken.
Gilani’s Supermarket Ltd was established in 1974. It is situated along Club Road, opposite Rift Valley Sports Club. Gilani’s Supermarket Ltd is a leading Wholesale and Retail Supermarket in the heart of Nakuru – Kenya.
It offers a wide range of Consumer goods and has a floor space of 58000 sq. ft which comprises of Retail, Wholesale and Storage space. The premises, also consists of a Restaurant, which comprises of the Fast Food Restaurant, Magic Carpet and a Bar/Conference Room.
Gilani’s Restaurant offers a variety of Cuisines which include Indian, Chinese, English, African Dishes and can host 300 customers at a time.
Gilani’s Supermarket Ltd is a distributor of many of the Country’s top lines.
The Super market’s fleet of vehicles supplies goods to its customers all over Kenya, whilst they also collect goods from their suppliers.
By Jane Ngugi