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Kenya

Kilifi mosque demolished in land dispute pitting two families

A contingent of police officers arrived at the site with an excavator and pulled down three structures sitting on the half-acre piece of land; the mosque, an orphanage centre and a residential home.

KILIFI, Kenya, Dec 2 – A mosque which is sitting on a contentious piece of land in Kambe Bondora in Kaloleni Constituency in Kilifi County has been demolished.

On Sunday morning, a contingent of police officers arrived at the site with an excavator and pulled down three structures sitting on the half-acre piece of land; the mosque, an orphanage centre and a residential home.

Two families, that of Juma Ali and David Mwamutsi, are fighting over the said ownership of the land.

Last Friday, over 300 Muslim faithful, who worship at the mosque protested the impending demolition, saying they have been in that area for over 40 years.

According to Emmanuel Chengo, a human rights activist in the region and who witnessed the demolition, describe the scene as “very bad and disheartening.”

“This is an issue which could have been settled by the two families without necessarily pulling down a place of worship. We are staring at the bulldozers helplessly, we cannot do anything,” said Chengo.

In May this year, the Mwamutsi family obtained a court order to demolish all the structures on the said piece of land, arguing that that is their family property.

The matter is currently being heard at the Supreme Court following an appeal.

On September 13, the Chief Justice David Maraga appointed a five-judge bench to hear and determine the Notice of Motion dated May 28 over the said piece of land.

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The five-judge bench includes; Maraga, Mohammed Ibrahim, J.B Ojwang, Smokin Wanjala and Isack Lenaola.

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