Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s house in Jerusalem, Nairobi house has been marked for demolition by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) under Director General Mohamed Badi.
Kenya’s first Vice President lived in the estate alongside Former President Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki, top government officials and civil servants.
Jerusalem estate in Eastlands, Nairobi has over 2,000 houses. NMS outlined plans to destroy the estate to construct nearly 60,000 affordable apartments under its Improvement Programme Eastland Urban Renewal Plan.
Jaramogi’s family have raised concerns over the destruction of the home which houses thousands of memories created since independence days.
Former Vice-President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (left) and his son Raila Odinga (right)File
Former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, is reported to be fond of the house and often passes by to visit his kins and to share a meal.
Evelyne Awino Ogola, Jaramogi’s granddaughter told the media 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 He will be angered when he wakes up and finds that his three-bedroomed house built by Israelis has been replaced by a skyscraper.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 cautioned.
Petitions to gazette the famous estate as a national monument to save it from NMS bulldozers have attracted nationwide support, forcing the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) to intervene on behalf of the residents. NMK and NMS are in discussion over salvaging the estate only if it meets the criteria stipulated for historical monuments.
NMS 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.