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Two Nairobians file petition in court to stop construction of Sh65b Expressway


Two residents of Nairobi on Tuesday filed a petition in court seeking to stop the planned construction of a multi-billion shillings expressway linking Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Westlands.

The two petitioners, Rhoda Aoko and Henry Shitanda, argue that the project is founded on illegality since there was no public participation as required by the law.

ILLEGALITY

“The project as it stands is founded on illegality and contravenes the fundamental principles and national values of the constitution of Kenya of transparency, openness, the involvement of the people and public participation,” read court papers.

The design negotiations, structures, and planning of the highway were done in secrecy, in an opaque manner and without the participation of the members of the public, the two further claim.

Aoko and Shitanda also accuse the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA)of ignoring their letter dated November 21st, 2019.

They said the agency failed to respond to the letter in which they were requesting it to carry out public participation and involve the people.

The project was launched in October 2019 by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

According to KeNHA, the construction will see an area of 1.3 acres and 23 meters situated along Uhuru Highway hived off from Uhuru Park, a section which the government said is public land.

CONGESTION

Once constructed, the Nairobi expressway is expected to reduce congestion in the Nairobi Central Business district and improve economic activities in the city.

The Sh59 billion project, which will be financed under the public-private partnership (PPP), will commence at Mlolongo and head to JKIA all the way to James Gichuru road.

The first phase of the project will involve the construction of four lanes at ground level from Mlolongo to the Eastern Bypass junction (City-Cabanas), covering 10 kilometers in total.

The second stretch of tarmac will meanwhile incorporate six lanes at ground level to the Southern-Bypass Interchange (Ole-Sereni) extending the highway by a further five kilometers.

Other major road networks that are set to be financed under the Public Private Partnerships model are the Nairobi – Mombasa expressway and the Nairobi- Nakuru Mau summit highway.