The newly-installed Kenyatta University management has hurriedly surrendered 200 acres of land to the government despite an injunction by the High Court.
The controversial parcel of land, which saw the institution's Vice Chancellor Paul Wainaina fired, is for the construction of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa disease centre.
A letter by Prof Crispus Kiamba, the new chair of KU council to the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua confirmed planned transfer of the land.Kenyatta University
“I wish to confirm that the University Council met on July 15, 2022 and resolved to surrender the Kenyatta University Land Tile LR No.11026/GRANT 33404 to the Ministry of Lands to enable them facilitate the re-planning of the above parcel as directed by the Cabinet,” stated Prof Kiamba.
The changes come despite an active court order in place barring the university from effecting any transfers and subdivisions. The facility was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on July 9.
On June 15, Justice Oscar Angote restrained the government from harassing officials of the university in a bid to enforce a cabinet decision, as directed by President Kenyatta, for the construction of Ksh600 million WHO facility.
Justice Angote granted the order stopping the university’s council from surrendering title documents of the contentious land as directed by the head of public service Dr. Joseph Kinyua. He directed the case to be heard on July 27.
Kenyatta University had complained that the WHO emergency hub was to be constructed without the university’s permission and the 200 acres where the hub was to be built were already set aside for other development projects.
During the commissioning of the WHO emergency hub, President Kenyatta slammed those opposed to the project arguing that the land belonged to Kenyans and not individuals.
"Kenya is a respected member of the global community and we are recognized as a very strong supporter of multinational institutions. We led UN-Habitat and UNEP and that is why we want WHO here.
"You are claiming that this is your land yet this same land is owned by Kenyans. You want to hinder this project but I still have three more weeks in office, we shall deal with those individuals swiftly and effectively. I will go home with them," he warned.
The decision by KUTRH to apparently hive off 200 acres of the land in question to erect WHO headquarters is at the heart of the controversy. Currently, WHO offices are located inside the boundaries of the referral hospital.
WHO absolved itself from the controversy and welcomed the 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 for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, underlined that the body met with officials from the Ministry of Health and the Foreign Affairs Ministry.Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Prof Paul WainainaCourtesyharass
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