NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – The Jamia Mosque Executive Committee has claimed ownership of a plot near the Globe Cinema roundabout which has seen an ownership row that led to protests by mechanics occupying the land on Monday.,
Ibrahim Ahmed, the committee’s Assistant Secretary General said the mosque legally acquired the plot from the Bohrah community more than 30 years ago.
“The Jamia Mosque Committee is the legal owner of the plot having bought it from the Hebatullah family in 1960,” he said.
The Committee also clarified that the land had not been sold to a foreign investor but was in their possession pending further development.
Mechanical artisans had run riot on Monday in protest after the plot, on which they had operated for years, had been fenced off.
The enraged traders took to the streets claiming the land had been taken from them illegally and sold to a foreign investor.
They looted passers-by and pelted motorists and police with stones and pulled down the fence that had been erected.
They engaged the police in running battles for better part of the day and at one point seemed to overwhelm them. It took the intervention of the dreaded GSU to restore order in the area.
For a long time the plot had been a make shift garage and open air market but was fenced on the evening before the protests.
Addressing a press conference at Jamia Mosque on Tuesday, Mr. Ahmed also cautioned against undue criticism being directed at members of the Somali community and their acquisition of land in the country.
“There is currently a very dangerous trend in the country whereby there is unwarranted exposure every time we as a community acquire land in Kenya,” he said.
He added: “We have witnessed this trend with reference to the acquisition of the Kigali plot, the Baitul Mal mosque in Easteliegh and a host of other properties in the coastal region.”
There has been concern in the recent past as to how foreigners were obtaining property in the country with many feeling they were not doing it legally.