NMS seeks green light to continue with Uhuru Park renovations


A man enjoys Carmel ride in Uhuru Park on October 20, 2021. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) wants court to set aside orders that have halted renovation of the historical Uhuru Park grounds.

The agency says the orders were issued irregularly because it was not first made aware about hearing of the application filed by the Communist Party of Kenya, neither was it furnished with the court papers.

Through lawyer Duncan Okatch, the NMS says the stop order was issued due to “misinformation of the court and obfuscation of true facts”.

He adds that the NMS was not only denied a chance to be heard but the ruling dated December 7, 2021, was delivered without any notice to its boss Lieutenant General Mohamed Badi.

“The ruling if not set aside will have extremely far-reaching consequences on the disputed project and unless the orders are temporarily set aside, it will cause great public injustice,” says Mr Okatch.

The order was issued by Justice Edward Wabwoto on the petitioner’s claims that the project was commissioned without a public participation and Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report.

But Mr Okatch states that there was extensive public participation and stakeholder engagements from the year 2018 and that an EIA report was filed in respect to the said renovation works.

“Sometime in the year 2020, the Nairobi City County Government in collaboration with Safer Nairobi Initiative conducted public participation on the need to rehabilitate Uhuru and Central parks,” explains NMS boss Lt Gen Badi in an affidavit.

End of term

The engagements centred on various areas, including collecting their views on what should be done in the park, interventions, improvements and the general outlook.

He says that during the session the public noted priority areas as improvement of security, the design to cater the changing culture, make the park more vibrant and translocation of the Marabou stork birds.

He says the renovation plan having been hatched in 2018, could not be implemented due to lack of funds.

Justice Wabwoto will rule on the NMS request on December 30. The court order threw the project in limbo as it came slightly three months to the expiry of the mandate of NMS to transform the capital city.

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