High Court Stops Renovation of Uhuru Park, Cites Lack of Public Participation

  • The court blamed NMS and General Badi for not conducting public participation before the renovations exercise
  • The court found that the project was commissioned without an Environment Impact Assessment report
  • The petitioner accused the NMS of fencing off the park to members despite the fact that the park is well known for being a recreational place

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Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has suffered a major setback after the High Court stopped all the renovations being undertaken at Uhuru Park.

High Court has suspended renovation at Uhuru Park.
Nairobi CBD as viewed from Uhuru Park. Photo: Roberto Muyela/TUKO.co.ke.
Source: Original

Justice Edward Wamboto of Environment and Lands Court barred the NMS Director-General Mohamed Badi or his agents from proceeding with renovations at the park until a suit challenging the same is heard and determined.

A conservatory order stopping all renovations, cutting down of trees and any works on Uhuru Park by the respondents either acting by themselves, their agents or any other person acting under their instructions pending the hearing and determination of this petition,” Wambuto said.

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No public participation

While issuing the orders, the court blamed NMS and Badi for not conducting public participation before the renovations exercise.

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Badi and NMS should have complied with both the domestic and environment law by involving the members of the public by giving them the information about the project,” he added.

The orders came after the Communist Party of Kenya petitioned the court over the renovation work.

Through lawyer Nelson Havi, the party asked the court to immediately stop the felling of trees and interfering with the echo system of Uhuru Park.

The court found that the project was commissioned without an Environment Impact Assessment report submitted to National Environment Management Authority.

Shrouded in secrecy

Booker Omole Ngesa, the party chairperson told the court that the whole process of renovation was shrouded in secrecy adding that NMS had blocked all his attempts to get information.

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“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,” he argued.

He also accused the NMS of fencing off the park to members despite the fact that the park is well known for being a recreational place for many city residents.

The hearing will be on February 1, 2022.

City MCAs pass motion

On Wednesday, September 28, Members of the County Assembly unanimously passed a motion so that Uhuru Park and Central Park at the heart of the city could get a facelift given their poor state.

The motion was tabled by majority leader Abdi Guyo who called for immediate closure of the parks to allow restoration to their former glory.

Notably, the county government is charged with taking care of parks and green spaces such as Uhuru Park, Central Park, Michuki Memorial Park, Jamhuri Park, Jeevanjee Gardens, and Uhuru Gardens, among others.

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Story by Zipporah Weru, TUKO.co.ke correspondent.

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Source: Tuko

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