Now that the petition against the Mama Ngina Water Front Park board has been thrown out allow me to separate myths from facts .
Kenya Tourism Federation Chairman was one of the members appointed to the board. I happen to be the current Chairman of KTF. The rest of the board members are all various chairs including Mombasa Chamber of commerce & industry chairman amongst others. In 2021 In Sha Allah when my term as KTF Chair ends so will my personal tenure at MNWF.
The board includes the chief of staff Mombasa County.
*Myth No 1:* The park will be reserved for foreign tourists only and to get in people will be charged
*Fact:* Mama Ngina Waterfront MNWF will remain a free entry public park open to all without any discrimination. It is currently closed to allow the contractor to do final touches for your comfort and safety. We noticed several issues that would pose danger to users from uneven surface to open man holes and exposed electrical wires .
*Myth No 2* : The hawkers who used to trade at the old park will all be replaced with new ones . It was being argued that once the board is allowed to take over the facility, some local traders will be rendered destitute hence unable to maintain their families.
*Fact:* We have a list of 63 traders who used to be at the old Mama Ngina drive. We have 100 kiosks and one of the things we are finishing are those very kiosks. We are currently connecting power and water. It means all the 63 traders will get their space and 37 new ones. So it is one FAT lie that we plan to kick out the previous traders. We are NOT charging any fees for now to the kiosk owners and no one should ask you for any payment. We are focused on authenticity and variety. We also don’t want one long line of crisps and madafu sellers only. The remaining kiosk we shall be keen on new unique ideas . Hygiene will be paramount.
*Myth No 3* : The board is out to make money and plan to do deals
*Fact:* We have no such plans. As board members we are entitled to board allowance but we deliberately chose NOT to draw any allowance. We have NEVER taken a cent and we plan NOT to. It is our small way in giving back to society .We also DO NOT plan to go on time and money wasting useless benchmarkings trips Most of the ideas are freely available on the net and we are all well travelled and seen what the world has to offer. . If anything all we are doing is Pro Bono.
*Myth No 4:* Private developers have been allocated the land at MNWF
*Fact:* it was the case but not anymore. H.E The President handed over a title deed under the care of Ministry Of Tourism which is in the custody of CS Finance as public land . Rest assured 100% grabbers stand no chance.
*Myth No 5:* Only national museum has legal mandate over MNWF.
*Fact:* MNWF is public land which was wrestled away from the jaws of grabbers. I was partly involved as KAHC vice chairman when the debate was raging in late 90’s. All public land belongs to GOK. National museums have a few areas where they are protecting archaeological discoveries. On the other hand Ministry of Tourism and Hon Balala applied for finance to revamp the place. On the other hand Mombasa County are very much involved since the project belongs to Mombasa people hence Chief Of Staff is with us in the board. We cannot purport to isolate Mombasa County Goverment . Never.
Good people I want to confirm to you that as a board that was appointed to look after MNWF we mean well and we want to give you a world class venue that you will all be proud of.
I fully understand your suspicion considering that you have been short changed elsewhere in the past but trust me MNWF is in good hands. We have nothing to hide and no secret cards at play.
I hope I have clarified and if you have any further query please feel free to ask and I shall endeavour to answer .
As always I choose to remain an optimist
Kenya Tourism Federation &
Board Member Mama Ngina Water Front Mombasa.