Cytonn CEO Edwin Dande has blasted Cavina School for charging too much
This came after a letter rebuking the firm's project in Nairobi's Kilimani area surfaced on social media
The letter titled ‘Save Kilimani – Stop Cytonn Towers’ and addressed to Kilimani residents seems to disagree with the firm’s plans to construct three 30-storey buildings in the area.
“In the next few months, ground will be broken on the largest construction projects ever seen in Kilimani. Our once green neighbourhood will be transformed forever as Cytonn Investments builds three 30-storey towers on the corner of Elgeyo-Mrakwet Road and Argwings Kodhek Road. The highest of these towers will be taller than Kenyatta Conference Centre (KICC) on a site of just 3.9 acres. Underground parking with 1,500 spaces will disgorge thousands of cars onto our already overcrowded streets every day. Kilimani simply does not have the infrastructure to support such a ‘gargannian’ project,” read the first part of the letter.
The letter goes on to explain why the residents of Kilimani won’t be happy with Cytonn’s project, saying congestion, noise and destruction are among the things that await residents should the firm be allowed to begin construction:
“In their pursuit of profits at all costs, Cytonn – whose motto is ‘Who wants to be a Cytonnaire’ will destroy one of the last green areas in Kilimani, the tree-lined MAF compound. For the next four years we, the residents of Kilimani will be deafened by the noise of drills and jackhammers. After that, we can look forward to congestion misery, higher temperatures because of fewer trees and constant noise from its entertainment venues. Drunk drivers will pour out of the complex, making our dangerous roads more dangerous still. And we will have a huge eyesore, visible from everywhere in Kilimani, on our doorsteps.”
It then accused Cytonn of planning to get permission from the National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA) without residents’ knowledge.
“The time has come to say ENOUGH. Enough to corporate greed, enough to the might of big finance and enough to those whose desire for profit blinds them to the concerns of ordinary people. Under law, Cytonn is obliged to hold an open meeting with local residents before getting NEMA permission. They are trying to do so as quietly as possible in the hope that no one will attend. Please help prove them wrong,” read the final part.
It the sensitized Kilimani residents on the need to attend a ‘follow up’ meeting at Cavina School on Saturday, April 21.
The Cytonn CEO seemed enraged by this and took to his Facebook page to say what he really thought about the letter and the school.
He blasted the school for referring to his firm’s ambitions as ‘greed’ and also took a swipe at their fee structure. He also took note of the fact that the school had no proper playing field yet it charged around Sh700,000 in a year.
“So I get this nasty letter from Cavina School posted in social media, accusing Cytonn Investments of “pursuit of profits” and “corporate greed” because we want to build the highest tower in Kilimani. I have been scratching my head, whether the words aptly refer more to Cytonn or Cavina? How else do you describe a preparatory school charging 700k per year per toddler, jamming hundreds of them without even a playing field. I am no Early Childhood Education expert, but one can actually operate a school with over 300 kids without even a playing field? Might as well call it Cavina Investments then. Tuheshimiane, kila mtu afanye biashara zake quietly and in peace,” said Mr Dande on his post.
Kenyans took the opportunity to weigh in on the matter and here are some of the responses on social media.
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