Joho, Swazuri in row over Fort Jesus sea wall

Written By: Beth Nyaga

Joho, Swazuri in row over Fort Jesus sea wall

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and National Land Commission Chairman Mohammad Swazuri have halted the building of a sea wall around the famous Fort Jesus in Mombasa citing irregularities.  

Joho and Swazuri stormed the site and stopped construction at the site saying the National Museum of Kenya was undertaking a different project than the one approved by the County government.

Joho visited the site on Thursday and directed the NMK to halt the project saying it was against the application it had made to the County Government.

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“Instead of constructing a sea wall, the NMK is attempting to reclaim two acres of land from the sea,” said Joho.

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The Governor who was accompanied by the Chairman of National Land Commission (NLC) Mohammed Swazuri noted that his government granted the NMK application to construct the sea wall but instead, it is reclaiming land from the sea which he said was a threat to marine life.

On his part, Swazuri said the reclamation of the land was being done without the involvement of the commission.

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“NMK should have involved us,besides reclaiming land from the sea is against the law,” added Swazuri.

The action by the County Government prompted the NMK Director General Mzalendo Kibunja to visit the site on Friday.

Kibunja then confirmed that NMK had already received a letter from the County Government withdrawing the permit to construct the sea wall.

Kibunja however said there was a huge misunderstanding over the project and clarified that NMK was not reclaiming land from the sea but only constructing a wall to prevent the surge sea waves during high tides from eroding the foundation wall of the Fort Jesus Museum.

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“There is no any evidence of land reclamation but we will engage the County Government and iron out this misunderstanding,” said the NMK boss.

The NMK has secured Ksh100 million from the National Government to safeguard the foundation of the historical Fort Jesus Museum whose cliff on which the fort stands is slowly being eroded by sea waves.

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