WHO Issues Statement on Uhuru-KU Land Tussle

  • A collage image of President Uhuru Kenyatta (LEFT) and Prof Paul Wainaina (RIGHT).
    A collage image of President Uhuru Kenyatta (LEFT) and Prof Paul Wainaina (RIGHT).
    COURTESY
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has absolved itself of any blame in the controversial land tussle between Kenyatta University and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    WHO stated that it welcomed the 200-acre land donation from Uhuru's administration to build a state-of-the-art emergency hub on the continent.

    Speaking on Thursday, July 14, WHO director in Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, underlined that it met with officials from the Ministry of Health and the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

    Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral & Research Hospital main entrance area.
    Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral & Research Hospital main entrance area.
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    “We are aware that the land is owned by the government and the people of Kenya and continues to be so. We engaged in discussion with the government to host some additional functions," she stated.

    Nonetheless, she noted that the hub will be beneficial to all Kenyans as it will host WHO's regional offices and an emergency unit storing drugs.

    The facility will also help the organisation streamline its activities in dealing with various diseases especially zoonotic diseases spread from animals to humans.

    “We must work together to stop Africa from becoming a hotspot for emerging infectious diseases by containing them before they cause widespread infections,” she stated. 

    While speaking during the launch of the construction works of the facility, Uhuru defended the government's decision to award the health organisation government land and Ksh500 million.

    Uhuru argued that the facility would put Kenya on the global map.

    However, he noted that there were individuals who were opposed to land donation, in particular, the university's management.

    At the time, he promised to take stern action against officials who opposed the land transfer. 

    Consequently, former KU vice chancellor Paul Wainaina was sacked and the university council dissolved.

    The Kenyatta University main gate in Kiambu County.
    The Kenyatta University main gate in Kiambu County.
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