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Lands Court Halts Uhuru Park Renovation.

Lands Court Halts Uhuru Park Renovation.

On Tuesday, December 7, 2021, Justice Edward Wamboto of the Environment and Lands Court barred Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director General Maj Gen. Mohamed Badi and his agents from proceeding with renovations at Uhuru Park until a suit filed in court challenging the same is heard and determined.

“I have issued conservatory orders halting all renovations, tree cutting, and other works on Uhuru Park by the 1st and 2nd Respondents (NMS and Badi) acting by themselves, their agents, or any other person acting on their instructions pending the hearing and determination of this petition,” Justice Wambuto said.

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Environment

The judge found that the renovation was commissioned without the authority and approval of the environment regulator — Nema — while ruling on an application filed by the Communist Party of Kenya challenging the project.

The Party asked the Environment Court, through LSK boss Nelson Havi, to immediately stop the felling of trees and interfering with the ecosystem of Uhuru Park.

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Havi informed the court that the project was sourced in secrecy and that military officers had sealed off the entire park while it was being renovated.

“During the alleged park renovations, NMS, through its Director Mohammed Badi, closed off the entire park. They barred the public from access, with knowledge for being a resting, outing, and social venue. The park is also of great historical, religious, and political significance to Kenyans. Its closure would have far-reaching consequences,” the petitioner stated.

According to Havi, no public participation was held before the renovation project’s start.

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The petitioners also claimed that the public is unaware of the nature, extent, content, and impact of the park project.

“The petitioner is also concerned that the project is being expanded using taxpayer funds but in complete disregard of public finance principles, particularly the participation of the public in public finance matters as provided for by law,” Havi said.

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