The entire Jerusalem Estate in Nairobi has been earmarked for demolition by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) in an exercise that will also see Jaramogi Oginga Odinga's house brought down in the process.
Kenya's first Vice President was a resident in the estate alongside former Presidents Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki, top government officials and civil servants.
Jerusalem estate in Eastlands, Nairobi has over 2,000 houses. NMS had revealed that it plans to demolish the estate to construct nearly 60,000 affordable apartments under its Improvement Programme Eastland Urban Renewal Plan.
Former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, is reported to be a fond visitor of the house and often troops there to visit his kins and to share a meal.
Evelyne Awino Ogola, Jaramogi's granddaughter told K24 TV on Friday, May 21 that the one storey flat house has been their home for years and their relatives treat it as a rural home or Nairobi's 'up-country'.
"Jaramogi was a humble man who loved to live a simple life. He will be angered when he wakes up and finds that his three-bedroomed house built by Israelis has been replaced by a skyscraper.
"Whenever my uncle, Raila Odinga is campaigning, his supporters meet him at this house where he treats them to a cup of tea. We have not changed the name on the card outside the house in honour of Jaramogi," the daughter of Ngire Agola Odinga, Raila's junior brother warned.
There have been numerous calls to gazette the famous estate as a national monument so that NMS bulldozers cannot go anywhere near it. The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) subsequently intervened on behalf of the residents and are in talks with the NMS over salvaging the estate only if it meets the criteria necessary for declaration as a historical monument.
NMS has since built low-cost houses in Ngara and Pangani which were offered to buyers and tenants at affordable prices. Out of 1,562 housing units developed in the Pangani estate, 60 percent were sold at prices ranging from Ksh1 million to Ksh3 million for one-bedroom to three-bedroom units.
The other 40 percent will be sold at between Ksh7.5 million and Ksh15 million.
Other estates that are under redevelopment are Jeevanjee/Bachelors Quarters, Ngong Road Phases I and II, Uhuru Estate, New Ngara, Old Ngara and Suna Road.
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