By Rachael Kavumbi
Website, www.thecoast.co.ke Tel, +254 725522679
As the Tourism stakeholders are trying to rejuvenate the industry, fire tragedy has drastically brought down their concerted efforts on the revival of the once lucrative sector.
Two different hotels were on Monday destroyed by fire after power outage occurred at Causarina area in the outskirts of Malindi town.
According to the owner of Kenga Giama Resort Nicola Mosca, the fire started at around 1.00pm after a slight light at the top of the roof.
He said he had to rush to call the Kenya power and lighting office in Malindi and the fire brigades, G4s officers to rush and assist in putting off the fire as some of the guests were still in their rooms while others were at the swimming pool.
“They helped us in dismantling what we could but it’s so unfortunate that we had lost almost everything in the hotel which has tourists a good number of tourists. Good Samaritans rescued them after goons tried to steal their belongings after the fire outbreak” Mosca said
Mosca condemned some of the locals who came posing as good Samaritans only to steal the belongings of the tourists.
He said “It was really a hectic moment when saving the lives of the tourists while goon’s struggled to loot their belongings after the response from the fire office was slightly slowly”
He added that due to the heavy wind experienced along the beach front the fire spread very fast to the next hotel Dorado cottages Resort and flashed everything too.
“We were unable to move the two brand new cars at the parking area due to the large number of guests which had to be given the first priority to save their lives,” he said.
According to eye witness of the incident, they noted that the there was a power trigger which was as a result of two wires touching each other at the power post.
However the good Samaritans blamed the fire brigade department for not reporting on time at the scene pointing a blame finger to the county government of Kilifi for not equipping the fire sector.
“The fire brigades arrived late with little water when the fire had spread to other roofs, properties was already on fire,” said one of the witnesses.
Mary who is a neighbor said the affected resort said the fire spared due to the iron sheet roofing.
Addressing journalists at her home ground after the G4s office secured his house, she noted that it is time for hotel owners to change the roofing stle to avoid such incidences.
“I thank God for the miracle but I urge people who will be willing to help in such incidences to respect people’s properties instead of looting,” she noted.
Area Police boss Matawa Muchangi confirmed the incident and assured the tourists that security would be beefed up as they are being relocated and warned goons who looted their properties that the long hand of the government shall catch up with them.
By The COAST Newspaper Reporter
Civil Society Organizations want county governments across the country to formulate budgets geared towards peace building process.
The Civil Societies are also calling on County Governments to initiate peace building activities among different communities so as to promote peaceful coexistence between them.
Societies drawn from across the Coast Counties led by Executive Director Kenya Community Support Centre (KECOSCE) Phylis Muema said most of the peace building initiities are left in the hands of human rights crusaders while the constitution allows the counties to fund such activities.
She noted that the initiative requires concerted efforts from various stakeholders including support from the National government.
“The county governments should come up with a budget that will support the peace building process. It is habitual that most of the peace building process is left to CSOs,” she lamented
The vocal human rights activist however, urged the civil society fraternity to execute their mandate responsibly.
She noted that the aim of the civil society is to push in for an accountable, transparent all inclusive, cohesive and integrated society.
“CSOs have their responsibility as well. Mombasa has had quite a number of challenges especially the security sector” she said
Muema called on Kenyans to work closely with both levels of governments in a bid to eradicate cases of lawlessness within the county.
The activist attributed the escalating cases of insecurity in various parts of the county to the increasing unemployment levels among the youths.
“Unemployment is currently rampant in Mombasa. We are here to forge way forward on how we shall sustain our peace” Muema said
She urged the national government to come up with a proper legal framework that will effectively deal with Al-Shabaab returnees.
She vehemently called for the passing of the national rehabilitation and reintegration policy to look into the welfare of the returnees.
She further blamed the government for not developing any clear policy on Al-Shabaab returnees.
“There is no policy that deals with Al-Shabaab returnees. We ask the government to speed up the passing of the rehabilitation policy in a bid to accommodate the Al-Shabbab returnees,” she said
Meanwhile, Muslims for Human Rights Chairperson Khelef Khalifa called on the police department to execute their mandate responsibly without infringing on the rights of Kenyans.
He said the police have developed a tendency of harassing innocent Kenyans in many areas of the county.
“The role of the police is to protect Kenyans. It is unfortunate that they are the same people who infringe Kenyans in our roads” he lamented
He claimed that road blocks have become an economic hub for most of the police officers.
At the same time, Fahad Changi, a Muslim for Human Rights official attributed the emergence of criminal gangs especially in Likoni Sub County to idleness among the youths.
He however expressed concern on the sprouting of criminal gangs in Likoni who have threatened security among the locals.
“I want to commend the efforts done by the relevant stakeholders including the office of the Member of Parliament in Likoni and the deputy county commissioner for their support in combating criminal gangs,” he said
Fahad noted that due to concerted efforts by security agents and the locals the rate of crime has heavily reduced unlike the past.
“Of late there has been a reduction in the rate of crime in Likoni” he said
The Coast civil society organizations have been at the fore front in championing for the rights of locals.
By The COAST Team
The Government will conduct a fresh exercise of vetting village elders, Nyumba Kumi leaders popularly known as Mabalozi so as to weed out all corrupt individuals amidst them.
Mombasa County Commissioner Evans Achoki said there is an outcry from the public that some village elders have turned to be associates of criminal gangs and they cannot continue to serve the public in any capacity.
Addressing a public rally on Friday at Mishomoroni in Kisauni Constituency, the Commissioner said the exercise will begin as from next month.
“How come a Nyumba kumi leader who is only in charge of ten households fails to know what goes around just within those households” Achoki said
He added that the government will not sit back and watch at some few individuals compromising on the security of the public.
“We shall deal with all criminal gangs ruthlessly and be informed that we shall not spare anyone be it your child or any of your relatives” the agitated County Commissioner stressed.
He called on the public to voluntarily avail information pertaining any criminal gang to the police for appropriate measures to be taken against.
The public had earlier complained that there has been an increase of insecurity cases with women being mugged and robbed of their belongings as they head to their places of work in the morning.
Meanwhile Kisauni Constituency Development fund offered to build a police station within Mishomoroni at a cost of ksh 20 Million.
Kisauni area MP Ali Menza Mbogo said he will set aside the funds in this financial year so as to have the project commence as from May 2018.
He said the move will help to curb insecurity in the area as it has become a criminal den.
“We are getting poor every morning because we only depend on house rent but every tenant is now vacating these houses due to the escalating insecurity witnessed in the area” Mbogo lamented.
Mbogo who had accompanied the Commissioner, said the issue of insecurity in the area has become a burden to the people living in Kisauni and its environs especially business operators who are encountering losses for they are forced to close their businesses in fear of being robbed by groups of gangs even at day time.
He added that he would work hand in hand with all the stakeholders in order to beef up security in the area.
He however called on parents to instill discipline to their children not to engage in criminal activities.
"I want to ask all parents and all of us who are here today if you know anyone who is an enemy of security or drug dealer in this region to cooperate by coming out openly and report such individuals to the police” said Mbogo.
Mombasa county commissioner Evans Achoki was delighted with Mbogo’s offer and he accepted to avail security officers once the project is complete.
"I fully support Mr Mbogo's idea and I want to promise here that the government will avail the required number of police officers once the project is ready for use” Achoki said.
However Achoki took issue with the locals for not informing the police on those who engage in crime while they know them very well.
"Three days ago l received a call that one of our own Mzee was attacked by unknown group of people and was seriously injured. As we speak he is admitted at Johcham Hospital and earlier today an old woman was attacked but she is getting on well. l want to warn those who are doing those involved the police is doing its duty and anyone who will be caught will have to face the law with no regard of your political or financial status” said Achoki.
The County Commissioner also warned those who are involved in drugs to willingly surrender to the police or the law will take its course.
Mjambare ward Representative MCA Fahad Kassim who was also present at the function vehemently condemned a section of bankrollers whom he accused of engaging in drug trafficking.
Fahad said he he was aware of all those who are involved in the business and he was willing to share the same with police to have the arrested.
"Kisauni is famously known for drugs but we cannot continue living in such a situation. We shall forward all the names of those who sell drugs in our area and I don’t care who is involved.. I will forward all the names” The first time MCA said amid cheers from the public.
The locals had petitioned the security agencies for not providing security in the area despite being well equiped for the job.