Alfred Mutua’s city still a pipe dream

By November 2013, Dr Mutua, who was touted as one of the best performing governors, had managed to get President Uhuru Kenyatta to launch the project. The local media was awash with the impressive artist’s impression of the new city.

According to details at the time, the proposed Machakos City was to be situated around Maruba Dam and will be part of a parcel of land measuring more than 2,000 acres.

Home & Away reported that as an incentive, Mutua promises to make such land available to potential investors on a leasehold basis. The envisaged city will consist of a Central Business District with government offices, a green open area for parks, community amenities such as educational centres, and a mix of low, medium and high-density residential areas. There will be a section set aside for a full-fledged sports city, tourism and stadiums with a capacity to host major international games.

Many accolades have followed the governor’s plans to the chagrin of some of his colleagues who feel his “high flying” status is making them look bad in the eyes of the electorate,” says the report. 

Many were awed, including President Uhuru Kenyatta who when he launched the city said: “Let me take this early opportunity to commend Dr Alfred Mutua for coming up with this noble idea. I encourage the other county governors to borrow a leaf from Machakos County and focus on economic development.”

Mutua was banking on this acclaim as a performer, having been the first to fully constitute a Cabinet. He was also the first governor to hold an investors’ conference with Kenyans from the diaspora in attendance. Building a mega city in the wide, open plains of Machakos County would have been another first for the high-flying governor.
Even the UN-Habitat came with a promise to assist the fledgling government in putting up a sustainable city.
But his dream turned into a nightmare when Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama went to court to try and halt the new development. Muthama had argued that the idea of dishing out land for free was illegal.
But speaking in Mutituni Market last week, Dr Mutua said his plans of building a new city in Machakos are still on.


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