Calls for Sakaja to open Uhuru Park to residents

A grounded plane at Uhuru Park on December 26, 2023. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Bunge La Mwanainchi in Nairobi is urging the county government to grant Kenyans full access to Uhuru Park, which was closed three years ago for renovations.

The appeal by Bunge La Mwanainchi President Patrick Kamotho to Governor Johnson Sakaja follows similar calls by city residents who have been demanding the reopening of the recreational facility.

Uhuru Park was closed by the now-defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) for a facelift.

“We strongly believe President William Ruto and his government are protectors of our national heritage, and thus call for the immediate opening and access to the public for the use and free enjoyment of Uhuru Park,” wrote Bunge La Mwananchi President Patrick Kamotho.

He added that for years, city residents have been denied full access to the Park even though it has been completed.

The petition reads in part, “We have established an online campaign to President William Ruto and Governor Johnson Sakaja who must offer a public apology and embark on opening the space immediately.

“The fear by the government for Kenyans to access the park is uncalled for and an infringement of citizens' right to access services. Being a county government responsibility, it’s our right as citizens, not a privilege,” Kamotho said.

Before its closure in 2021, Kenyans and even foreign tourists seeking rest could walk to the park to relax.

Equally, families engaged in outdoor activities, while lovers enjoyed the quiet environment at the recreational facilities.

Three years down the line, the park is breathing a new lease of life thanks to the installation and erection of fresh features that are giving it a dazzling touch but are not accessible to the public. The county has been using the park to host some events, including the recently concluded Nairobi Festivals held between December 12 and 17, 2023.

Governor Sakaja says the county charged Sh100 for adults and Sh50 for children to access the park during the event. Nairobi Environment chief officer Ibrahim Otieno said the park was only opened on ember 25 and 26 for residents to enjoy Christmas. 

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