See you in court, CS tells developer over restored Michuki park

Friday, June 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko when he toured Michuki Memorial Park, Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/Tabitha Mbatia

George Kebaso @Morarae

The Ministry of Environment is spoiling for a legal battle with a private developer, claiming ownership of the John Michuki Memorial Park.

Yesterday, Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko did not mince his words when responding to the shadowy developer who is headed to the courts to challenge the ongoing rehabilitation of the park.

“We are not going anywhere. See you in court,” Tobiko told the developer ahead of today’s World Environment Day themed: Biodiversity– a concern that is both urgent and existential.

The CS said the ministry and its legal team is well prepared to meet with the said developers in court and see what title deed they will present for the land.

While invoking Article 67 of the Constitution which says riparian land is public land, Tobiko said the law is clear that this type of land should not be allocated to anyone.

Article 62, on the other hand, notes that all rivers, lakes and all land between high and low water marks are public land.

Tobiko mocked the said owners for hiding under the veil of lawyers noting, interestingly, that in the numerous letters the ministry had received on the matter, there was no mention of Michuki Park or Mazingira Park as it was known before 2012 when it was renamed.

“We are asking the court to invalidate the title deed the private developer claims to possess.

We have been here since 2008, where has been the so-called owner when the erosion was destroying the course of the river?

Where has been the so-called owner when the government was reclaiming the dumpsite and actively carrying out rehabilitation for all these years? the CS asked after a tour of the ongoing rehabilitation programme at the park.

Protect park

“We are undeterred and doing everything within the law,” said the CS.

Tobiko said what’s being done to renew the park for public recreation is within today’s World Environment Day theme of biodiversity. 

“This day is celebrated to encourage awareness and environmental protection. In our case, there is no better way to celebrate the day than to restore, protect and conserve Michuki Park.

There is no better way to honour and respect a man who gave his time and energy and intellectual resources towards our environment...” Tobiko said.

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