September 20, 2020

Activists Up In Arms as County Cancels Public Participation Forum

By Peter Kombe

Email: thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Residents in Mombasa county have raised  concern  following the cancellation of a public participation forum by the department of trade that had been slated for March 4.

Speaking to the media in Mombasa on Wednesday Muslims for Human Rights Chairperson Khelef Khalifa insisted that the said officials should be held accountable for the monies used to print an advert in the newspaper that cancelled the exercise terming the move as a waste of public resources.

“Over ksh300,000 had been used to print this advert in the paper. We shall not sit back. We shall get to the root,” Threatened he.

The chair is also opposed to the naming of most of the streets and public entities in the region with names from other regions.

The trade department had called on the public to debate the naming of the Mombasa waterfront from the the current Mama Ngina water front.

“We have prominent people here whose fame should not fade away and that is why the streets and other historical places been given the names.” Suggested Khalifa.

Muslim for Human Rights Executive Director Abubakar Zein stated that public participation forums are provided for in the Kenyan law.

Muslims for Human Rights Executive Director Abubakar Zein. Image (Courtesy)

Zein noted that the lobby will continue pushing for the realization of basic human rights for all Kenyans as required by the law.

The director  observed that his organization will call their our own public participation forums.

He indicated that Mama Ngina Waterfront has a historical significance in Mombasa County adding that it was formerly a battlefront that led to liberation from the shackles of colonialism.

“Culture is part of the constitution. And those who wanted to change the place must give us a concrete reason and that which is agreeable to all of us.” Said Zein.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Awadha a  resident from Old Town in Mvita Sub County claimed that the county government had failed in its obligations.

According to him the cancellation of the forum by the relevant department is a clear indication that it was unwilling to conduct the forum.

“Most of the leaders become ‘bosses’ instead of becoming servants of the people. They only become responsible to their parties,”

He agreed that Mama Ngina water front should be named after a local prominent personality.

The county government instead wants the public to submit a memorandums to the clerk of the county assembly on the same issue.

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