Opinion and Analysis
Ministry’s move will restore order
Posted Sunday, July 15 2012 at 16:33
In April, I decried the emergence of unplanned developments mushrooming around Konza ICT Park, fearing that they would degrade the associated aesthetics and constrain holistic planning.
I now acknowledge and commend government for commensurate action to counter the threat.
The Ministry of Lands, through the Director of Physical Planning, using powers vested in him under the Physical Planning Act Cap 286, suspended all developments in the area for a six month period with effect from 22nd June 2012, the date of the public notice.
The notice declared some 75,836 hectares (30,690 acres) of land covering the zone of interest for the ICT Park a special zone as defined under the Physical Planning Act.
The subject zone covers parts of Makueni, Machakos and Kajiado Counties and borders Konza Railway Station, Konza Settlement Scheme and Aimi ma Kilungu, among others.
The cessation of development will facilitate the preparation of a zoning plan for Konza Techno City which will provide a spatial framework for the use and orderly development of land within the zone of interest.
For the benefit landowners and developers within the affected zone, the suspension will affect the making of any material changes in the use of any buildings or land or the subdivision of land.
The suspension also implies that the erection of buildings and structures or the carrying out of construction works within the zone will have to stop for the six month period.
But for the avoidance of doubt, the notice clarifies that the suspension does not include development relating to the carrying out of work required for the construction, maintenance or improvement of a road within a road reserve by a competent authority.
The notice also doesn’t outlaw the carrying out of works by any Local Authority or Statutory Body for the purpose of inspecting, repairing or inspecting any sewers, pipes or cables by such bodies.
Land owners and developers likely to be affected can peruse the relevant plans with the Director of Physical Planning in Ardhi House, his County Physical Planning Offices at Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado Counties.
The plan may also be scrutinised at the County Council offices of Masaku, Makueni and Ol Kejuado.
The Machakos Municipal Council has a copy too. Those on site could also consult the office of the Sub-Chief, Malili, which also has a copy, the notice advised.
I am happy about the priority government accords this matter. The development of Konza Techno City spells great opportunities for Kenya.
Agriculture drives a major proportion of our GDP and our foreign exchange. The reliance of our country on rain-fed agriculture adversely exposes this sector hence our economy and foreign exchange to unpredictability which is bad for national planning. Tourism, the other pillar, has also proved vulnerable to our emotive local politics and the perceptions of foreign tourists.