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Uhuru Kenyatta: Ignore rumours, parks in city have not been grabbed

January 1st 1970

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he inspected the 27.1km JKIA-Westlands Expressway which is currently 93% complete.  [PSCU, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed claims that Uhuru and Central Parks have been grabbed and auctioned to private enterprises. Speaking at Uhuru Park during a tour of ongoing state projects in Nairobi, yesterday, Uhuru defended demolitions at the parks, saying they were part of government’s plans to improve Kenyans’ living standards.

Wale ambao walikuwa wanasema sijui tumegrab Uhuru Park na Central Park, mpige picha ili wananchi waone ile kazi inaendelea huku jamani. Na hii yote ni kuboresha maisha ya Wakenya wetu wawe wanaweza kujivunia mji wao wa Nairobi na nchi yetu. (Those saying we grabbed Uhuru and Central parks – take photos so that Kenyans can see the work going on here. We are doing this to better citizens’ lives and to make them feel proud of Nairobi and our country),” he said.?

At the same time, the Head of State defended Kenya’s ties with China, terming them mutually beneficial. Speaking during inspection of the Nairobi Expressway, Uhuru commended the relationship for boosting local infrastructure development. “A lot of people have told us that our relationship with China is not beneficial. Those who say so should come and see the projects we have done,” he said.

He cited the 27km Expressway, saying it would be complete in March, adding that similar projects would ease the cost of doing business. “Infrastructure is key if ultimately we want to become an industrialised nation,” said Uhuru.

The President, accompanied by China’s Ambassador Liu Xianfa, Transport CS James Macharia and Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director-General Mohamed Badi, oversaw the laying of the last girders of the expressway.

The President defended his development track record, which has come under attack from his detractors, saying his government was silently working with the objective of turning Nairobi into a 21st-Century city. “Nairobi is changing. Many think this is the only project we are doing. To date, having started off last year, we have done so many roads in our inner cities; over 420km in Kibera, Mathare and other places,” he said. “We are changing people’s lives. The number of people we are employing in this (expressway) project alone is more than 6,000,” Uhuru added. Besides infrastructure, the President praised the work done in the health sector, citing construction of hospitals.

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