President Uhuru Kenyatta has allayed fears of Uhuru Park being grabbed by private developers.
The head of state who spoke on Thursday as he toured the Nairobi Expressway project, said the ongoing works are meant to transform Nairobi into a world class city.
This he said as he urged reporters present to relay the correct information to Kenyans for purposes of transparency.
“The difference that is being occasioned by the road building, by the drainage and sewage being put in, I do believe that within another two years, Nairobi will be a truly 21st century city, catering for its population in a positive manner and in a manner befitting our people,” he said.
“Hata nyinyi mkitaka, wale ambao walikuwa wanasema ati sijui tumegrab Uhuru Park sijui na Central Park, mpige picha wananchi waone ile kazi inaendelea huko jameni. Na hii yote ni kuboresha maisha ya Wakenya wetu, wawe wanaweza kujivunia mji wao wa Nairobi, wawe wanaweza kujivunia nchi yao Kenya. Na hiyo ndiyo haja yetu, sisi hatuna haja ingine.”
On December 7, the High Court suspended ongoing renovations at Uhuru Park pending the hearing and determination of a petition challenging the exercise.
The case, filed by the Communist Party of Kenya, is before Edward Karoph Wabwoto of the Environment and Land Court.
The petitioners through lawyers Nelson Havi and Benedict Wachira argued that there was no public participation or an Environment Impact Assessment in the whole exercise.
“The 1st Respondent has also initiated a process of replacing the green lawn of grass at the Park with concrete cement blocks, an action which, unless stalled by this Court, will greatly degrade the botanical and environmental qualities of the Park to the detriment of Nairobi residents who have been the greatest beneficiaries of the same,” read court papers.
“The project is shrouded in secrecy, where the whole Park has been blocked from the public, and all attempts by the Petitioner to gain information on the Project from the 1st and 2nd Respondents have failed.”
The renovations meant to give the popular park located next to the Central Business District (CBD) a facelift are being conducted by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).
The decision to rehabilitate the park was approved on Tuesday, September 28 by the Nairobi County Assembly.