NMS Responds After Reports of Uhuru Park Grabbing

  • An image of a bulldozer at Uhuru Park in Nairobi CBD (left) and scores of Kenyans strolling at the park
    An image of a bulldozer at Uhuru Park in Nairobi CBD (left) and scores of Kenyans strolling at the park
    Canva
  • The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has responded to the allegations circulating online of the historic Uhuru Park land being leased to a private investor.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, the entity's Director of Communications, Tony Mbarire, affirmed that the park was undergoing a facelift and would be open to the public by February 2022.

    "It's a face lift for both parks (Uhuru and Central Park) so that they are more responsive to today's needs. So the facelift was very much needed in order to enhance the recreational facilities," he stated pointing out that the NMS envisioned both parks to emulate Michuki Park's standards.

    He noted that there existed a number of public spaces that needed a lot of attention in order to meet the current standards. 

    A photo of Nairobi's Uhuru Park pictured on Sunday, November 21.
    A photo of Nairobi's Uhuru Park pictured on Sunday, November 21.
    Kenyans.co.ke

    "There will be a process, public participation, it goes through a tender process, the bidder wins, they put up the business and hence people can enjoy their services."

    He also posed a question why Kenyans had to roller blade along Aga Khan walk- at a car parking area instead of an open space designated for that purpose.

    "You know NMS is a special purpose vehicle so by the time we're done with this work most of us will have gone back to where we were. If we don't get an extension, it will be up to March 18, 2022. If we do get an extension, it will be up to September 2022, when the new governor takes over," he detailed.

    He challenged the likes of Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, to back their claims of a private investor taking over the park.

    "Is it true that State House and NMS have demolished the Uhuru Park pavilion and leased the area to Saudi Arabian Company to build Hotel and Car Park?" Murkomen had initially claimed. 

    Social media had been awash on Sunday, November 21, with reports of the ongoing activities at the park. Further, heavy police presence was at every entry point, signifying the importance of the ongoing works at the public park.

    What has probably caught the attention of many Kenyans is the fact that the contractor demolished the podium that has previously hosted dignitaries during national events. 

    "The podium is down. But works are all over the park. From outside walkways to the inside hence you can't say that the podium was targeted," a source told Kenyans.co.ke

    a
    An aerial view of the refurbished Michuki Park in Nairobi
    PSCU