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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 28 July 2014

FAMILY WANTS JUSTICE AGAINST EX-MOMBASA MAYOR MWIDANI




A long-serving former Mombasa mayor Ahmed Mwidani is on the spotlight over a piece of land he allegedly grabbed from its owner and sold to an Asian family over 24 years ago. 

The Human Rights Commission Programme director Caleb Ng’wena, has written to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission urging for thorough investigations on allegations that the former Mombasa mayor, allegedly used his position to forcefully evict the family of the late James Wazome from Nyali plot number M/N6963 which he later sold to Dhanjal and Brothers.

Documents seen by Weekly Citizen show that the late Wazome had occupied the piece of land since 1969 when he was an employee of the Kenya Ports Authority. He later developed the land and settled there with his family.

However, in the 1990s, then Mombasa mayor Mwidani reportedly visited the family and proposed to Mzee Wazome that in order for him to get a title deed, he should surrender to him part of the plot.

According to Brian Wazome, the eldest son of the late James Wazome, his father objected to Mwidani’s proposal and this became the beginning of trouble for the family.
A few days later after the mayor’s visit, the area chief, then Mombasa district commissioner and the Mombasa municipal council physical planning department embarked on exerting pressure on the family to vacate the plot on claims that the council had earmarked the land for a development project.

As the family continued to resist their removal on grounds that the plot belonged to them, the mayor allegedly got impatient and decided to unleash a demolition squad armed with crude weapons comprising hired youths, council askaris, goons and armed administration police officers  who flattened the house and looted household goods.

When the family engaged a lawyer to pursue the matter through the corridors of justice, the case file mysteriously disappeared and records in the ministry of Lands could not be traced either. As a result, no hearing of the case ever took place and a few months later, ex-mayor Mwidani allegedly sold the plot to Dhanjal Brothers for Sh1 million.

Due to the suffering and frustration meted out on the family by the then powerful Mombasa mayor, who had the ear of retired President Daniel arap Moi,  Wazome who had retired from KPA and invested all his savings on the plot reportedly developed health complications which he managed for a while before he died. His wife, Deborah Wawuda Wazome, also passed on shortly afterwards.
“We believe our parents’ deaths came early because of what they went through all those years having lost all they had invested in that plot and the suffering that followed,” the sons pointed out in a statement addressed to Genesis for Human Rights Commission.

They are reportedly interested in getting justice against those who disinherited them by taking away what their parents had worked hard to get on their behalf.

The ex-mayor whom the Wazome family is seeking justice against is a pale shadow of his former self. According to those who interact closely with him, he is a frustrated man who has no stable family and is leading a lonely life. He is always spotted on Mama Ngina Drive resting in his weather- beaten pick-up allegedly with young women.