, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 – Leaders of the Riyadha Mosque in Nairobi’s Majengo estate have denied claims by a UN report linking their mosque to the Al Shebaab terror network of Somalia.
The elders say all monies received for the construction project since 2007 have been channeled to the right course and not to fund the Somalia based terror group.
Maalim Hassan Athman who addressed journalists at the mosque on Sunday also affirmed that they had never solicited nor received money from the Al shabaab.
“This project was estimated at Sh40 million, and we had to hold a fund rising, we invited people including the then Vice President Moody Awori, Najib Balala, Amina Abdal among others,” he said.
“We have spent Sh30 million this far and still need Sh10 milion; all this money has come from these leaders. We do not solicit for money from people outside the country,” he added also confirming that there are records of how the money had been used.
They further distanced themselves from Ahmad Iman Ali whom the UN details as the leader of the Al Shabaab cell in Nairobi.
One elder Abdul Hakim got emotional fronting the argument that they faced difficulty meeting their needs in the Majengo slum and would not even afford an extra penny for the Al Shabaab. Iman Ali has been missing since 2009.
“How does it concern us where he (Ahmad Iman Ali) went?” he posed. “Al we know is how we receive the money and spend it, some of us are very poor and we cannot even afford to burry the dead. (Weeping) why are we being associated with the Al shabaab?”
The Mosque leaders have vowed to take legal action on banks that disclosed client information to the authors of the UN report.
“We want to know how the monitoring team of the UN got information from our bank accounts in seven days (failure to which) we will seek legal redress,” said Hashim Kamau the Secretary for Youth Affairs at the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM).
Earlier on Sunday Kisauni MP Hassan Joho defended Cabinet Minister Najib Balala over accusations that he funded activities of Somali’s Al Shaabab militia.
Mr Joho who addressed the media in Mombasa flanked by the Chairman of the Shariff Nassir Foundation Abdulswamad Nassir said Muslims had an obligation to help the less fortunate and Mr Balala’s contribution towards the construction of the Riyadha Mosque should not be misconstrued that he supported Al Shabaab activities.
“I might differ with Balala on political issues but not when it comes to religion. Muslims stand for the truth,” added Mr Joho.
The report of the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea prepared for the Security Council exposes in great detail the activities of the terrorist group and its links with governments, businesses and individuals across the region.