Mombasa Residents Block Street to Worship in Defiance [VIDEO]

  • Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho addressing the nation from State House Nairobi on April 25, 2020.
    Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho addressing the nation from State House Nairobi on April 25, 2020.
    PSCU
  • Residents of Old Town Mombasa have called upon Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho to reopen Mosques and allow worship to continue.

    In an undated video, seen by Kenyans.co.ke on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, daring Kenyans from the historic town sealed off a street, blocking traffic while worshipping on the road. 

    However, speaking to Kenyans.co.ke Mvita Member of Parliament Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir suggested that the video had been taken by young boys, with an intent of making fun.

    "The man who was praying is a certified mental case. I wish I could answer to everything that is there, but the truth of the matter is that guy is mad, and whoever did the video were young boys, and they did not understand that the video would go viral," Nassir stated.

    In the video, young men blocked vehicles from going through the street, forced others to wait, others turned back, while they dared the governor to take action as he had earlier warned.

    "If Joho believes he is tough, let him come here. We will only let the vehicles pass if he reopens the mosques and lets us worship," one could be heard lamenting in the background.

    Mombasa County Commander Gilbert Kitiyo who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke on May 5, stated that he would continue to enforce safety directives on Covid-19 as issued by the national government.

    "Everywhere there are people who resist. Some are drug addicts and some are not mentally up to state. But we want people of goodwill, we want to understand the rules and regulations issued. Places of worship will remain closed as per the government directive until they are lifted," Kitiyo pronounced.

    This comes after the governor and the area legislator had sounded a warning to residents on their lifestyle, especially after it was earmarked a Covid-19 hotspot in the county. Since the start of the pandemic, Old Town has recorded 6 Covid-19 deaths.

    On Saturday, May 2, 2020, Joho and Nassir expressed their concerns after 131 people turned up for testing out of the total area population of 28,000. 

    Mvita MP Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir pictured at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in Mombasa during the launch of a sensitization campaign on April 28, 2020
    Mvita MP Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir pictured at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in Mombasa during the launch of a sensitization campaign on April 28, 2020
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    Mass testing had since moved to other parts of the county but, Nassir told our news desk that Old Town would be revisited, further urging members of the public to step up and help in the fight against Covid-19.

    "The mass testing has moved to another part of Mombasa but will be coming back to Mvita. As for the numbers, we were not pleased. I am just calling on everyone to look at this whole thing as a holistic approach, not as if they are being victimised. It is a process for everyone. We were in Likoni yesterday and the turnout was tremendous, it could equally mean that other areas would follow the example," Nassir stated.

    Governor Joho had on May 2, 2020, stated that people were finding excuses to evade the testing, further noting that they had perceived the exercise as a jail sentence.

    He sounded a warning to members of the Islam community who were defying the directives issued by the national and county governments. He warned that if residents of the county failed to adhere to the orders, then he would push for a total lockdown of the area.

    "Hizi ndizo fitina hatutaki. You are opening the mosque, then allowing people to sneak in. When the police come, you start talking badly. Where is your mind, what kind of laziness is this?" he had scolded the Old Town residents. 

    "You get to social media and oppose everything. You are not protecting me my friend. I have my mask, I have my gloves. Everybody talks of being tested and you don't want to be tested? Stop joking, stop excuses!" Joho roared.

    "We have already buried six people from Old Town and yet you have time to argue? What is wrong with you? Use your common sense, stop joking with lives," he added.

    Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho announcing the Mombasa County Feeding Programme for the poor.
    Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho announcing the Mombasa County Emergency Household Relief and Nutrition Support Project, on March 26, 2020.
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