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City Hall clears Cord to use Uhuru Park, cancels prayer rally

Nairobi City County government has come out to end the confusion on the rightful user of Uhuru Park on June 1.

The County Secretary Dr Robert Ayisi said the Opposition coalition, Cord, have been granted official permission to use the venue for their Madaraka Day rally.

Dr Ayisi said City Hall has written to Prayers Beyond Boundaries Ministry to revoke their planned prayer rally. The church was set to start its rally on Tuesday.

In a media briefing in his office on Monday, the County Secretary gave a narration of how Cord had written a letter to City Hall on May 22, 2016 requesting to have the venue.

The permission was subsequently granted on May 25 after deliberation by county officials.

“We received a letter of request for use of Uhuru Park by Cord vide a letter dated 22nd May, 2016 and received 25th May, 2016 and which we consented to on the same day,” said Dr Ayisi.

Dr Ayisi explained that the church had paid money to book the venue before their request could be formally approved.

“Prayers Beyond Boundaries Ministries paid the Nairobi City County Government without prior approval,” he said.

He said that the county government has the sole mandate of issuing permits for the use of Uhuru Park since the facility falls under their jurisdiction.

“Nairobi City County Government is the sole custodian and trustee of Uhuru Park grounds, therefore the county has the right to approve or decline any request for use of its facilities.

“For avoidance of doubt and confusion we would like to categorically state that it i the approval to Cord which is valid and effective,” said Dr Ayisi.

The County Secretary added that the official Madaraka Day celebration in Nairobi will be held at Starehe Grounds where the County Commissioner will preside over the event.

He said that City Hall had not set aside a budget to mark Madaraka Day celebrations but would facilitate on refreshments.

“This is a national event and we will celebrate it like other counties where we will have the County commissioner lead the event and invite the Governor Dr Evans Kidero,”said Dr Ayisi.