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Uhuru-Wainaina saga leads to lawsuit

An activist has accused the government of using coercion and manipulation

Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor Paul Wainaina before addressing students and staff at the KU Amphitheatre on July 12, 2022.

Differences between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenyatta University's suspended Vice-Chancellor Paul Wainaina are now heading to court.

Enock Aura, an activist has filed a case in court in an attempt to block the construction of World Health Organization's (WHO) Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention facilities on part of the University's land.

According to Aura, the institution had not declared its 410-acre piece of land idle or available for allocation hence the land can be described as protected.

"The purported land user of the World Health Organisation Medical Emergency Hub will be incompatible with the grant user of the suit land designated for Kenyatta University,” said Aura through his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui.

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Aura further referenced the Government's plan to utilise 190 acres of land to settle squatters at Kamae. He quoted, a judgment issued in 2021 by the Environment and Land Court that dismissed a case involving the squatters.

The locals, who since 1984 have been in a court battle with Kenyatta University over the land were ordered to vacate after the court determined their title deeds were not valid.

“An expressly unconstitutional and illegal purported alienation of about 410 acres of the suit land belonging to Kenyatta University under Article 62(1) of the constitution is imminently about to occur unless this court intervenes,” said Aura.

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The activist concluded his affidavit by pleading with the court not to allow the institution be coerced or manipulated into ceding the land.

“It would be manifestly ne ultra vires for the Kenyatta University Council to purport to, or be coerced under duress or such like threats and manipulative intimidation to cede part of the land,” the affidavit concluded.

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The lawsuit comes only hours after the WHO released a statement defending its plans to build Africa’s first health emergency hub on a 30-acre piece of land.

“We are aware that the land is owned by the government and the people of Kenya and continues to be so. However, we had already engaged in discussion with the government to host some additional functions,” said WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti.

According to Dr Moeti, the facility if constructed will be used as a storage facility for medical supplies and equipment. The facility will also be used as a distribution point where supplies will be deployed to emergency situations in Eastern and Southern Africa.

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“We must act now to contain zoonotic diseases before they can cause widespread infections and stop Africa from becoming a hotspot for emerging infectious diseases,” concluded Dr Moeti.

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