Balala backs Joho on upgrading of 12 Mombasa County estates

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala at Mombasa port when he unveiled the commemorative plaque for the construction of a Sh 350 million cruise ship terminal at berth number one in Mombasa County. He was accompanied by Kenya Ports Authority managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi and Mombasa governor Hassan Ali Joho among others. PHOTO | COURTESY

By TOBBY OTUM

newsdesk@reporter.co.ke

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has said that he fully supports the Sh 200 billion Mombasa County housing project.

Mr Balala urged Governor Hassan Joho to move ahead with the project saying it’s a positive thing and asked Mombasa residents to rally behind the initiative.

He asked Mr Joho not to compromise on the housing project otherwise nothing tangible will be initiated. His statement comes after the Mombasa high court gave the project a clean bill of health.

He spoke during the unveiling of the commemorative plaque for the construction of a Sh 350 million cruise ship terminal at Mombasa port’s berth number one in Mombasa County.

The Cabinet Secretary called on Mr Joho to come up with a formula to reduce the number of Tuk Tuk operators in Mombasa County arguing that the County’s image is tainted by the Tuk Tuk operators.

He said instead of licensing too many Tuk Tuks there should be other tangible projects to economically empower the county residents.

“Let’s come up with tangible economic empowerment projects instead of investing in Tuk Tuk business only,” he said.

The Cabinet Secretary said the Tuk Tuk business is a kiosk mentality business arguing that he was ready to support the Mombasa county government with tangible projects rather than those which are politically initiated.

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala being welcomed at Mombasa port by Kenya Ports Authority managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi. PHOTO | COURTESY

He urged Mr Joho to stop thinking of his re-election but instead think of leaving a legacy in Mombasa County.

The High Court in Mombasa ruled in favour of a controversial Sh 200 billion housing project which is part of Governor Joho’s ambitious vision 2035 project.

Mombasa High Court Judge Patrick Otieno ruled that there was public participation in the project that seeks to demolish and reconstruct houses in 12 estates in Mombasa County.

This was after three organizations, Advice Centre, Haki Yetu St Patrick’s and Transparency International Kenya moved to court challenging the implementation of the ambitious project citing lack of public participation.

The judge ruled that the project should proceed but said regular updates should be given and a suggestion box provided.

“Both the print and the electronic media should be engaged when the implementation of the projects kicks off,” he added.

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