The High Court on Thursday, December 30, ruled on the secret renovations going on at the landmark Uhuru Park.
Justice Edward Wabwoto declined to lift the initial order suspending the renovations, noting that if the contrary occurred, it would defeat a case filed last month by the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK).
Hailed as the legacy project for the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and in consequence President Uhuru Kenyatta, the entity was in-charge of the renovations before the order was initially given.
An image of Uhuru Park
Filing a petition, NMS boss General Mohammed Badi claimed that he was not served, hence order was given without hearing his side.
The claim did not, however, persuade the judge who noted that Badi could not choose to argue at that stage that he was never personally served.
“I find that the service was properly effected and all the respondents, including the 2nd respondent (Lt Gen Badi). The second respondent cannot choose at this stage to argue that he was never personally served,” the judge stated.
CPK had challenged the renovations noting that the process would adversely affect the environment due to the mass tree cutting and demolitions.
“The first 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,” the CPK stated.
The park has sparked heated conversations in recent months with a section of Kenyans alleging that the ongoing demolitions were part of the government’s ploy to grab the land.
This was, however, downplayed by President Uhuru Kenyatta who noted that the renovations were part of the government’s plans to improve Kenyans’ living standards.
“Those saying we grabbed Uhuru and Central parks – take photos so that Kenyans can see the work going on here. We are doing this to better citizens’ lives and to make them feel proud of Nairobi and our country,” Uhuru stated during his recent tour of the Nairobi Expressway.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was accompanied by Infrastructure CS James Macharia and NMS DG Mohamed Badi to inspect the Expressway on December 23, 2021.