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Gov’t declares Papal Dias at UoN a national monument

The Papal Dias at the University of Nairobi which hosted tens of thousands of people, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, for a rain-soaked, open-air Mass led by Pope Francis has been declared a national monument.

In a gazette notice on Friday, Sports and Culture CS Amina Mohammed said the site was found to have historical value and would be protected.

The dias was used in 2015 by Pope Francis’ during his historic three-day visit to the country.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 25 (1) (d) of the National Museums and Heritage Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture, and Heritage declares the building specified in the Schedule, which she considers being of historical interest, to be a monument within the martial; of the Act,” the gazette notice read.

The government also declared the Granary of Kikuyu Ethnic Group situated within Thuti Sub-location, Othaya Township Location, Nyeri County, and the 16th Century Ngomeni Shipwreck which is underwater in Ngomeni Bay, Ngomeni Village in Gongoni Ward, Kilifi County as national monuments were.

The A.C.K. Kamathanga church within Chaani Sub-location, Mua Hill Location, Machakos Town Constituency in Machakos County was also bestowed upon the honour reserved to historical buildings.

Others included, the popular House of Commons situated in Sheila Ward along Vasco da Gama Road on the seas front, on plot No. 1144, Malindi Town, Kilifi County was also declared a national monument together with the House of Habib Swaleh Bin Alwi Jama Al-Layl Riyadha/Langoni in Lamu Town, Lamu County.

“Any objection to the declaration shall be lodged with the Cabinet Secretary within 60 days from the publication of this notice,” CS Amina directed.

The mandate of the gazettement of important sites falls under the Directorate of Antiquities, Sites and Monuments (DASM)

The functions of DASM also include the identification and legal protection of all sites and monuments of national significance.

The scope of this function encompasses 23 museums, over 370 gazetted sites and monuments, and seven World Heritage Sites, distributed across Kenya’s 47 counties.