Residents of Bibi wa Shafi area in Mombasa County have raised concern over land grabbing by private developers.
The residents who spoke to KNA separately appealed to the government to bring the perpetrators to book.
They alleged that despite a court order dated November 18, 2020, forbidding any activities at PLOT NO. MOMBASA/BLOCK/XVI/160, the private developers have grabbed it and even took over a mosque that they did not build.
“Despite the place being a road reserve, I wrote to the authorities and asked for permission to build a temporary mosque. We have been running the mosque for over six years now but recently, the grabbers took over,” said Munir Mohammed Sketty, the property owner.
Mr. Sketty noted that, the residents had seen the need to build a permanent mosque because the area being a bus stop needed a prayer place for the larger Muslim community that resides in that particular place.
“I have been to the police with the order so they can help me stop the land grabbers from undertaking development on my land but in vain,” added Sketty.
He said after demolishing their residential houses to pave way for the construction of a permanent mosque, a Mr. Mudathiri Somoe Bwana and others came in and took over. “We demolished some of our residential houses to expand the mosque, but we cannot do so because Mr. Bwana and his colleagues have taken over the running of the mosque,” added Mr. Sketty.
Mr. Sketty wondered why the grabbers had the guts to go against a court order suspecting they were being supported by an influential personality.
The mosque is said to have been constructed by Mr. Hussein Mohammed who said he did so as part of his contribution to the Muslim community that resides at Bibi wa shafi area.
He told KNA that the grabbers came in and renovated the roofing of the mosque and that is how they got the chance to take over operation and even planned to set up other business stalls nearby.
“This area is a private property of Sheikh Munir Sketty. Out of his kind heart he gave it out to me so I can build a mosque for the community, now who are these people who have come over and want to do other projects here without the consent of the owner? Why is the court’s decision not respected?” posed Mohammed.
In 1997 a court ruled that the space should remain as a road reserve forbidding all forms of development on it.