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The court will now determine Konza’s location: Kibwana

EASTERN
By ONESMUS NZIOKA | April 15th 2014

By ONESMUS NZIOKA

Makueni, KENYA: It has now emerged that the court’s intervention may be required to help determine whether or not Konza ICT Park is based in Machakos or Makueni county.

Makueni Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana has said his government will move to court to protest approval of the city development Plan that places the park’s location in Machakos County.

Addressing members of the County assembly during the State of the County annual address, Kibwana said: “Approval of the Konza development plan as purportedly located in Machakos is a joke taken too far. We have resisted going to court over that matter for the sake of investor confidence but it now appears we have run out of options and the court is the only route to correct this anomaly.”

CHANGED BOUNDARIES

Kibwana criticised the Lands ministry for approving the plan before resolution of the dispute, arguing it is the ministry delaying take off of the Vision 2030 flagship project.

He said the recently concluded National Environmental Management Authority clearance and the ongoing survey of the site has been done in collaboration with the County Government of Makueni a clear indication of where it is located.

The controversy surrounding location of the Proposed Konza Techno polis came to the light in June 2013 when Kilome MP Regina Ndambuki produced the Konza Technocity Buffer Zone Regulation plan from the Ministry of Lands, indicating alteration of boundaries.

The new boundaries curved the whole Konza city site and some areas from Makueni to Machakos.

According to the Makueni County Director Lands and urban planning Bii Ng’eny, the plan is a misrepresentation of the boundaries and was, through a consultative meeting, disregarded in favor of a new well documented plan.

Ng’eny said the Plan by the Director of physical Planning in the Ministry of Lands, Augustine Masinde, is in total contravention of the Districts and Provinces Act of Kenya (1992).

According to Kibwana, the new structure Plan was approved by the Director of Physical Planning in December 2013 and sent to Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu, who is yet to rectify the boundaries problem.

NEW STRUCTURE PLAN

The new Structure plan for the Sillicon Savanna has been criticised for proposing land uses (at the Buffer zone) that had not been agreed upon with land owners.

Some of the land uses heavily opposed by land owners include dumping sites, cemetery, sewerage treatment facility and expansion of some roads.

In a meeting between governor Kibwana and directors of the Konza Ranch society, it was agreed that the Director of Physical planning will be quickly informed of the objections to the Structure plan raised by land owners and revocation of the December plan.

Kibwana, however, noted that the Lands ministry has shown a lack of commitment towards solving the boundary impasse.

He said local leaders including senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, MPs Daniel Maanzo and Regina Ndambuki as well as himself have been tossed up and down concerning the issue and the court remains the only option.

Machakos leaders have remained mum over the issue.


 

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