News Politics

State Capture: Why Kenyatta University Land Row Has Everything To Do With First Family’s Northlands City

PHOTO CAPTION: Why were Northlands City trucks involved at the launch of the WHO emergency hub?

Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor Paul Wanaina could not hold back tears on Tuesday as he laid bare his frustrations while addressing the university staff over a land row pitting the public learning institution against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.

His address followed a directive by the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, that instructed the university to surrender nearly half of its land.

The VC revealed the State had asked them to cede 410 acres.

Prof. Wanaina read three letters from Kinyua, all sent last week, directing the university to surrender the title deeds by close of business on Monday, July 11.

According to Prof. Wainaina, Kinyua, acting on behalf of Uhuru, ordered them to enable the Ministry of Land officials to inspect the land and provide a written agreement for subdividing the land in question.

The letter showed that 30 acres will be given to the World Health Organization (WHO) to build offices and stores for an emergency hub, 10 acres to the Center for Disease Control, over 180 acres to Kenyatta University Hospital (KUTRRH), and another 190 acres to settle Kamaye squatters.

They instructed the institution to surrender the title deeds to the Ministry of Lands for re-planning and facilitating resolution.

But then, they refused.

This is when all the tantrums and threats from higher powers began.

Speaking during the launch of the WHO emergency hub, Kenyatta vehemently condemned the KU administration for allegedly causing frustrations by laying claim to public land.

He promised that the last weeks of his 10-year tenure would be dedicated to solving the dispute “swiftly and effectively”.

“I will go home with them in three weeks,” he thundered.

It took just two days for the axe to fall.

But why the rush to establish the WHO research center at the expense of the good professor and the entire Kenyatta University council?

Just what is so important about this so-called mega project?

Well, it is now an open secret that all the drama surrounding the controversial parcel of land has everything to do with the first family’s “Northlands City”.

The proposed $ 5 ultra-modern metropolis is located opposite Kenyatta University on your way to Ruiru town and is set to sit on over 11,000 acres of land.

Uhuru Kenyatta’s donation of that land to WHO, an organization capable of buying its own land, is meant to benefit the Northlands project and amounts to impunity and fraud of the highest level.

Private family interests. That is what it’s all about.

Apart from automatically increasing their private land’s value, establishing WHO Research Center will obviously provide a client base for their neighboring City.

Control of hospital and research facilities will be a major business source for tendering and supplying medical commodities.

A regional WHO hub would have at most 50 expatriates.

Where do you think all these high-level diplomats will be housed?

That is where the various Northlands real estate developments – like the Northlands City Suits – come in.

Not forgetting that diplomatic security and ancillary services will boost security and status which will provide a controlled environment around Northlands City.

Perfect conditions for business.

This is why the infrastructure between the surrounding hub and the city has to be perfected and any drawback has to be dealt with ruthlessly.

Just like how through state capture, we saw funds that were meant for the Western Bypass interchange in Gitaru, Ndenderu, and Wangige, as well as a service road in Karura, and an interchange in Ruaka diverted to construct a road leading to Northlands City private land.

Uhuru has been out to finish Kikuyu’s just for his family to remain on the throne.

From their mass eviction in Kariobangi to setting Gikomba ablaze, to killing the scrap metal business, and now, sacking the learned personalities like Prof. Wainaina just for Northlands City to amass more land.

It is undoubtedly such a shame.

Northlands Estate is being constructed at a time when Kenyans noted massive holes in our budgets with the wholesome disappearance of our Eurobond funds.

It is this open display of contempt by the Kenyatta family that has got Kikuyu’s all riled up.

Kenya’s state capture has now extended to public learning institutions.

When interrogated by the press on Saturday, WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus avoided the land controversy but described the specifics of the regional emergency response hub project.

He said the Kenyan government is contributing Sh3.6 billion ($31 million) to the project.

This includes Sh588 million for construction, while the rest mostly covers the value of the land.

“The Government of Kenya has generously committed 12.14 hectares (30 acres) of land and $5 million (Sh588 million) towards construction,” Dr Tedros said.

The project comprises a WHO Centre of Excellence for a Health Emergency Workforce.

It will have godowns to store medical supplies and equipment that can be sent across Eastern Africa within 72 hours during emergencies.

WHO will give Sh5.5 billion ($47 million) to cover the Kenya project, another hub in Senegal, and two liaison offices in Addis Ababa and Johannesburg.


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