What you need to know:
- Muslim clerics from Supkem, Kemnac and Cipk also condemned the demolition of the mosque.
- Sheikh Mahmoud Abdillahi called on those responsible to repent or face God’s wrath.
- The Nyali MP denied claims that there is a donor funding the construction.
- He asked the contractor to come out clean on the details of the project.
A stalemate is brewing over the use and ownership of a piece of land in Mwembelegeza, Nyali Constituency in Mombasa following the demolition of an unfinished mosque.
Residents say there is tension between officers from Mwatamba Police Station and members of Mwembelegeza Scheme over the proposed construction of an ultra-modern mosque and madrassa in the area.
Last week, the angry residents protested and called for the ongoing construction to stop, through a letter to County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo.
The Mwembelegeza Scheme members say any development on the public utility land must be subjected to public participation.
On Friday, the construction was stopped. However, the situation got dramatic after youths allegedly demolished the mosque on Saturday.
It is claimed that the construction at the site began a week ago through sponsors from Turkey and with the blessings of Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho.
The situation has escalated into a war of words pitting Nyali MP Mohammed Ali, Kadzandani MCA Francis Kombe Nzai and Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council (Kemnac) Chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao.
Bishop Jonathan Dena of the New Testament Church of God condemned the demolition of the mosque saying that there was no need to bring it down.
Muslim clerics from Supkem, Kemnac and Cipk also condemned the demolition of the mosque.
Sheikh Mahmoud Abdillahi called on those responsible to repent or face God’s wrath.
Ustadh Adam Wario, the chairman for the project, said that since January, they have been speaking about the construction of the mosque and a nursery school.
The religious leaders pointed an accusing finger at the Nyali MP, claiming he hired goons to bring down the mosque.
“It is very unfortunate. All my life I have not seen a church or a mosque being demolished until today. This place was to have modern madrassa classes,” Kadzandani MCA Kombe said.
Construction to continue
Kemnac chairman Sheikh Ngao dared the MP to try again stopping the construction of the mosque which he promised will continue from Monday morning.
But the Nyali MP said that there were genuine pleas from Mwembelegeza Scheme members over the construction of a mosque on public utility land.
“Let us not use religion to peddle politics. Things are in black and white; the residents have complained and presented their petition to the county commissioner’s office and that is what led to the suspension of the construction,” Mr Ali said.
He denied claims that there is a donor funding the construction.
“We have never seen him and the county commissioner ordered that the construction stops,” the MP said.
He asked the contractor to come out clean on the details of the construction, the donor details and approvals from the Mombasa County government.
“There are more than three mosques in this locality and whatever they are constructing is not a mosque. Why are they hiding? We have been looking for the donor for the last 14 days in vain. Sheikh Ngao and MCA Kombe are guns for hire and they are not genuine about this project,” Mr Ali added.