Aden Duale promises to hand over Uhuru Park to Nairobi County gov’t

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 17 Apr, 2024 11:54 | 2 mins read
Uhuru Park. PHOTO/Stephen Nderitu(@StephenNderitu_)/X
Uhuru Park. PHOTO/Stephen Nderitu(@StephenNderitu_)/X

Defense Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale has announced plans to handover Uhuru Park to the Nairobi County government on Thursday, April 18, 2024.

Duale revealed the handover plan during Senate proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

The Defense CS had been asked if the renovations which were being handled by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) were complete.

"The renovations at Uhuru Park are practically complete, as per the contract. However, we have less than 8% of pending works; Water connection and drainage works," he stated.

Duale acknowledged that managing parks falls outside the core roles of the Ministry but expressed its commitment to fulfilling the obligation.

"I'm handing over Uhuru Park to Nairobi County Gov't tomorrow at 9 am, running parks is not our core mandate. However, the ministry has been allowing the public to use this facility on occasions and functions," he affirmed.

CS Duale also assured that all pending works within Central Park, including water connection and drainage, would be swiftly completed to ensure its readiness for public use.

"The Ministry of Defence is committed to fulfilling our obligations and ensuring all pending works within Central Park are completed within the shortest time possible, and it's open to the public," he declared.

Uhuru Park renovations tussle

Speaking to the media in February 2024, Duale said the renovations were still underway amid growing concerns from the public that the park had been closed for too long.

The CS at the time noted that once renovations were done, KDF would transfer control of the amenities to the Nairobi County government.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja confirmed that the KDF was yet to relinquish control, noting that contractors are still present at both Uhuru Park and Central Park.

"They (KDF) haven't handed over. The contractors are still at  Uhuru Park and are also not done at Central Park," Sakaja confirmed.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna also expressed concerns about the prolonged closure of Uhuru Park in a letter to CS Duale.

He mentioned receiving complaints about the park's closure, which began in September 2021 for renovation by the KDF.

Sifuna highlighted that the park which was initially scheduled to reopen in December 2023 remained closed.

In his letter, Sifuna requested clarification from Duale regarding whether renovations were still ongoing at Uhuru Park and whether the park had been officially returned to the county government's control.

He also sought information on any underlying issues causing delays in reopening the park to the public.

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