By The Coast Newspaper Team
Muslim clerics in Mombasa County have pledged to support the anti SGR weekly protests organized by Fast Action Business Community Movement.
The Muslim faithfuls drawn from all the sub counties say the government’s initiative of transporting containers through SGR has directly affected them.
Changamwe and Likoni sub counties mostly affected
One of the Imams who spoke on condition of anonymity while speaking to The Coast Newspaper said he is among the victims of the directive.
According to the cleric, Changamwe and Likoni are the mostly affected sub counties due to high number of Madrasa teachers.
“Hili swala limewapata baadhi yetu. Inatuhusu sisi walimu moja kwa moja. This issue has affected some of us. It is affecting us (teachers) directly,” the Imam noted.
Meanwhile,Abdulhakim Katana an Imam from Masjid Zabibu in Shanzu says the SGR transport monopoly question has affected all the sectors.
According to him the issue has mostly affected the small scale business community.
“The government should bring back the operations of the port to the Coastal people. Most of the factories here have collapsed,”the Imam said.
He asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to rethink on the on the move.
Monopoly threatens devolution
Another cleric, Juhudi Hassan from Masjid Noor in Changamwe Sub County claimed that the transport monopoly is a threat to devolution.
According to him devolution is meant to benefit the local community.
“Let the government to rethink on this move. We do not get the tithes that we used to get before this directive,” he categorically noted.
At the same time, Rashid Koricho an Imam from Jomvu lamented on the status quo of the economy.
He points that the consequences of the already declined economy can be felt everywhere including the grassroots level.
Shida ni nyingi mitaani. Uchumi umezorota. The situation is even worse in our streets. The economy has declined” he said.
The Imams were addressing journalists at the sidelines of a sensitization forum organized by Fast Action Business Community Movement at in Mombasa County on Sunday.
Weekly Demos to resume Monday 24
Fast Action Business Community Movement chair Salim Karama assured Kenyans that the protests will resume on Monday 24 February.
The chair asked the Muslim faithfuls to sensitize their congregants on the impact brought about by SGR transport monopoly.
“Twataka raslimali zetu zibaki hapa pwani. Bandari imegawanywa hamna mtu wa pwani. We want our resources back. The port has been apportioned. There is no one from this region at the facility.
The chair however accused the police on claims of infringing on their constitutional rights of demonstration and picketing.
Karama noted “The previous arrests made police officers to some us is a plot to cool us down. They do not want us exercise our constitutional right,”
Demo shift from streets to religious circles
Haki Africa Rapid Response officer Mathias Shipeta notes that the anti SGR demos have shifted from the streets to religious circles.
“We will continue mobilizing Kenyans in the region on the impact of the SGR transport monopoly,” Shipeta noted.
He asked the Imams and Sheikhs to back up their protests bid.
The protest according to FABCOM officials were halted in honor of the death and burial of former President Daniel ArapMoi.