Uproar as iconic Uhuru Park pavilion goes down


Uhuru Park was closed down for renovations that will take three months to complete. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The iconic Uhuru Park Pavilion has been demolished and this has not gone down well with many Kenyans.

The famous pavilion was brought down as rehabilitation works at the park by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services enters the second month.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen is among other politicians who wondered why the pavilion had to be flattened.

However, Nairobi County Majority leader Abdi Guyo who moved the motion for the closure of Uhuru and Central Parks for rehabilitation dismissed the talk stating the exercise was warranted and good for the park goers.

Politician Kabando wa Kabando posted on Twitter; “Iconic Uhuru Park Pavilion demolished. No public hearings for historic features to be removed. Wangari Maathai’s spirits must be very disturbed.”

However, Dagoreti North Member of Parliament Simba Arati told off the naysayers and said the rehabilitation of the Park was long overdue.

“We appreciate what the government is doing through NMS by rehabilitating all parks in Nairobi. We hope this could be extended to the estates,” he said.

In July, NMS Director Major General Mohammed Badi said the rehabilitation of Uhuru Park was aimed at improving its look ahead of Christmas.

“Uhuru Park is soon transforming into a modern recreation centre. Once we are done, it will be a totally different place,” said Badi.

Among the historic events that were hosted in the Park was the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.

It was the same venue where Mwai Kibaki took over power after the 2002 elections in an event that was attended by thousands of Kenyans.

In 2017, Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga was sworn in as the people’s president.

The 12.9-hectare recreational park was opened to the public by the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on May 23, 1969.

The park hosts an artificial lake, several national monuments, and an assembly ground which has become a popular skateboarding spot on weekends. 

In 1989, the late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai and her followers protested government plans to construct a 60-storey Kenya Times Media Trust business complex at the Park.