- - On Wednesday, Mombasa Cement Company’s Imtiaz Sayani said they will transfer all the beautification statues in the county to Malindi.
- - Ogogoh urged the two parties to settle their differences for the sake of poor Mombasa county residents.
The face of Mombasa county could change following the decision by an investor to undo the beautification he had done.
This follows a stand-off between Mombasa Cement Company and the Mombasa county government, which some intermediaries trying to solve.
On Wednesday, Mombasa Cement Company’s Imtiaz Sayani said they will transfer all the beautification statues in the county to Malindi.
“Mombasa has no water for the animals. So we are taking them to Kilifi county where there is water," Sayani said.
He refused to expound his statement but observers see this as salient message to Governor Abdulswamad Nassir that his services could as well benefit people from other counties.
The Star has learnt there have been talks between the county government officials and Mombasa Cement officials, with the last one as late as Tuesday evening, to try and solve the misunderstanding between the two entities.
It is not clear what transpired in the meeting.
This started when a memo from the county health executive to all the county health facilities directing them not to accept direct donations.
However, the county has been keen to explain to the philanthropic owner of the cement company the directive about donations to the county health facilities has been misunderstood.
According to Governor Nassir, the directive was meant to stop cash payment of hospital bills to curb alleged corruption at the health facilities.
The governor, through his handlers, said they want to automate all payments in the health facilities to minimise loopholes that could be used by rogue officials out to make money for their own selfish interests.
"We only want to streamline things at health facilities," said Diana Ngao, the county director of communication.
She said the internal memo that was sent to heads of facilities in the county was maliciously leaked to cause havoc.
Another meeting between Nassir and philanthropist Hasmukh Patel is set for Friday, according to insiders.
The matter has caused a lot of reaction from different groups in Mombasa.
On Wednesday, Tudor MCA Samir Bhaloo acknowledged there are differences between Mombasa Cement and the Mombasa county government but was quick to add that the small differences cannot stop them from working with the county government.
"In a relationship there will always be misunderstandings. And we were taught not to interfere in a fight between a husband and wife," Bhaloo said.
The Makupa roundabout in Mvita Subcounty, which was the biggest beneficiary of the Mombasa Cement philanthropy, will be the biggest loser.
The roundabout was decorated by the company and made the entry point into Mombasa from the West, including the Moi International Airport and the SGR, look attractive.
Before the beautification project, the roundabout had been neglected and had turned into a hideout for thugs out to attack pedestrians at night.
Now, the roundabout is an attraction with people taking photos and going there to relax.
All this could vanish.
Human rights activist Julius Ogogoh said the county is set to lose big time in the ongoing row.
"It remains unclear whether the philanthropist will continue to fund some of the key health services at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital including the provision of oxygen to the facility," said the Commission for Human Rights and Justice executive director.
Ogogoh urged the two parties to settle their differences for the sake of Mombasa county residents.
"In the end, the governor is a rich person and will not be treated at Coast General. He will not suffer if Mombasa Cement withdraws his services. It is the poor people of Mombasa who will suffer instead," Ogogoh said.