• President made a low-profile tour of Mombasa and was dismayed by the garbage, a long-standing problem.
• But he praised the regeneration of Mama Ngina Drive and former Kibarani dumpsite. Overall he was pleased.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho was enjoying a leisurely game of golf on Sunday morning when his phone rang.
It was President Uhuru Kenyatta and he was unhappy about the garbage problem, a long-standing issue.
The President had made a low-profile tour of Mombasa and wanted to talk to Joho, his new ODM friend.
So Joho had to leave the Nyai Golf Club and talk about garbage clean-up efforts.
“I had to leave my golf game,” Joho told an amused audience during the commissioning of the Bandari Maritime Academy on Monday.
Joho said it was the first time he had to abandon golf game to respond to the President.
“Now, this President, when did he move around and see the garbage?” Joho said in jest. He jokingly praised the President's "mbwa-style" of management.
However, President Kenyatta was generally impressed with the progress in Mombasa and gave a thumbs up to the regeneration of Mama Ngina Drive and Kibarani beautification.
The Sh460 million regeneration project will spruce up the area where the next Mashujaa Day celebration will be held.
It was supposed to have been completed on May 31 but was delayed after government redesign.
“That should tell you that he goes to the ground and sees what is happening. And we feel encouraged, Your Excellency,” the governor said.
State House spokesperson Kanze Dena said the President visited the Sh460 million waterfront project which he commissioned in January and was satisfied with the redevelopment of Mama Ngina Drive into a modern recreation park.
The transformation of Mama Ngina Drive is part of efforts to restore Mombasa as a leading tourist destination.
The President and Joho also visited the reclamation and beautification of Kibarani, a former dumpsite, along the Makupa Causeway.
For years, the dumpsite was an eyesore and a public health concern to residents and visitors because of its location at the gateway to the city.
(Edited by V. Graham)