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Governors to demolish slums around Konza City

By Standard Reporter

Governors in the three counties bordering the proposed Konza City have vowed to curb emergence of informal settlements around the 5,000-acre technology park.

They also want to formulate by-laws that would prevent slum growth. The proposal means that investors who have put up buildings around Konza without the requisite regulatory clearance may be affected.

Machokos County’s Alfred Mutua, Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni and Kajiado’s David Nkedianye said they would champion their county assemblies to come up with similar by-laws on development within a 10-km radius of Konza City.

It is feared allowing informal settlements around the Konza City would discourage investors from the multi-billion shilling project, whose success is dependent on private sector investments.

The governors were reacting to a proposal by Information and Communication Technology Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

Dr Matiang’i who had warned that the rise of slums around the city would undermine its development, said construction would begin before the end of the year.

Dr Mutua, who spoke on behalf of the county bosses, said the proposed by-laws would ensure minimum standards are kept to preserve the value of the proposed city. This, they say will make it remain attractive to prospective investors.

The new push comes months after the respective regional authorities, then operating as town and county councils, issued an ultimatum to have structures developed without the required approvals and licensing pulled down.

sub-standard structures

Land owners within a 10-km radius of Konza City had started demolishing sub-standard structures in February after the expiry of a seven-day notice issued by the three authorities and the Ministry of ICT.

Planners in the three local authorities said that as many as ten small towns were gaining from the proximity to Konza City, would be affected. Among them is Malili, about 10 km along Mombasa Road, after the Machakos turnoff.

The move could see the town’s estimated 3000 people affected.

A 2-km ring around the City would be preserved as a wildlife park to be managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service.  Official estimates place the value of the proposed technology city at Sh800 billion when completed.