Angry Kenyans have come out to condemn the government after it emerged that the Nairobi-Westlands Expressway, whose construction was launched last week, will pass through Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
An article published by the Standard on Saturday revealed that the much hyped highway prospected to ease traffic along Mombasa Road among other roads in Nairobi, will take up part of the space at the treasured leisure park in the CBD.
According to Kenyans, the government allowing this is in bad taste and disrespectful to the late Wangari Maathai who fought tooth and nail against individuals who had attempted to encroach on the public park for commercial developments.
“Prof Wangari Maathai and determined women almost lost their lives fighting for this park but (someone) smoking goodness knows what has been lied to…to destroy Uhuru Park just so him/his cronies can make billions? Am one angry Kenyan today!” @yourspenfully lamented.
If Wangari Maathai woke up from her grave and saw what President Kenyatta wants to do with Uhuru Park, she will be very Heartbroken. We are slowly selling this country to the Chinese. We are pretending not to see yet we are suffering. #ResistExpressway #LeaveUhuruParkAlone pic.twitter.com/IwkpvF7uCp
— BRAVIN™ (@IamBravin) October 21, 2019
“A sick government acting on misplaced mis-advised priorities. That expressway passing through Uhuru Park is as useless as a car with no engine considering the economy. Why not use that money to do something sensible like building dams in drought prone areas?” Another concerned citizen, Gakenyi Mwangi posed.
Others called out the government for what they termed as double standards with the recent eviction of families livig in the Mau Forest in the name of conservation of public resources.
Evicting people from Mau Forest then constracting a highway through Uhuru park. Double standards.
— Wycky™ (@Wycky_) October 21, 2019
Uhuru park is reserved for citizens to relax and take a fresh breath and from the noisy and crowded CBD. The expressway will make the place unconducive due to noise from the moving vehicles. The expressway will make Uhuru park look like the current globe cinema roundabout. 😤
— Evans (@KavitaEvans_CPA) October 21, 2019
According to the Standard, the Expressway will also force the removal of the historic Papal Dias at the University of Nairobi, where Pope Francis gave his address during his visit to Kenya in 2015.
The government has in the past come under fire for encroachment of natural resources for commercial purposes, such as during the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway which crosses the Nairobi National Park.