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Counties sign to donate 73,000 acres for Konza urban development

By James Wanzala | May 21st 2021
Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) CEO, Eng John Tanui (right) and Rendeavour Executive Vice President Preston Mendenhall (left) at the Konza Technopolis. [James Wanzala, Standard]

Kajiado, Makueni and Machakos counties have partnered with the national government through the Konza Technopolis Development Authority to set aside 73,000 acres for new urban development.

The partnership was sealed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between governors Joseph ole Lenku (Kajiado), Dr Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Prof Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) on one hand and Cabinet secretaries Joe Mucheru (ICT), Najib Balala (Tourism) and Farida Karoney (Lands).

The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiang’í at Harambee House in Nairobi.

The MoU will facilitate the proper planning of Konza belt, the first of its kind in the country being implemented jointly between the national government and the county governments.

Matiang’í praised the three counties for cooperating with the national government in the development of Konza Technopolis, adding that their effort will create more value for the project and the property around it.

“We are grateful to the leadership of Kajiado, Makueni and Machakos counties on the agreed MoU signed today.

Protect jobs

“This will protect thousands of jobs, investments and wildlife by preventing encroachment and uncontrolled development in the buffer zone,” said Matiang’i during the event.

Mucheru lauded the effort by the three counties to safeguard the planning of the belt, consequently protecting investments that fall within the zone.

To support the implementation of the MoU, the Principal Secretaries for Lands and Wildlife ministries now join the constituted Inter-County Joint Physical and Land Use Planning Committee chaired by PS for ICT and Innovation Jerome Ochieng.

Nominees from the ministries of Interior, Lands, ICT and from State Law Office, Council of Governors, counties of Kajiado, Makueni and Machakos will form the technical implementation committee.

In April, Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado county governments suspended the issuance of new development permits for 90 days in the “Konza Special Planning Belt” which is the area falling within the 10-kilometre radius of Konza Technopolis.

The plan will provide basic guidelines and standards for regulation of land use practices and general development while controlling activities for the counties bordering the technopolis.

It will also guide developers and property owners on acceptable standards.

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