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Uhuru huffs and puffs in crime infested Old Town

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday took Mombasa residents by surprise when he strolled for 40 minutes on the streets of Old Town, notorious for knife-wielding youths who terrorise tourists and locals.

The President took the walk after launching a clean-up of the 100-year-old Macknon Market. This came ahead of the launch of the National Youth Service Mvita Constituency clean up, which was launched Tuesday.

The Old Town is today a dangerous zone full of radicalised youths. Insecurity and filth in the Unesco list as a World Heritage Site town has reduced it into a pale shadow of its decades-old tourism glory.


On July 5 last year, a Russian tourist was shot dead by gunmen who escaped in a waiting car.



Three weeks later, a German tourist was shot dead at Mlango wa Papa as she and a Ugandan companion were being shown around by guides.

Early this year, two security officers were killed in separate incidents.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro were among the leaders who walked with the President who was surrounded by a ring of security officers.

The President addressed a crowd at Fort Jesus at 1pm.

“This is the first time a President is visiting this area,” said Ms Fatma Huzefa, the headteacher of Ocean View Nursery School.


The owner of Safina Craft Shop, Mr Said Salim, said the President promised to visit him again in three months.

“I have been making furniture for State House but no President has ever visited me. I have no words,” he said.



At Fort Jesus Museum, the President asked Mombasa residents to lead the way in flushing out drug dealers.

“We want to get rid of drugs because we want the youth to build their lives. But we will not succeed unless you lead the way. You know who the dealers are and we want you to help us get rid of them. If there are police officers who do not collaborate, tell us so that we get them out of the way,” he said.


“We need to bring back the glory of this town by ensuring that security is maintained. This is the only way tourists will come back, which will result in jobs for our children,” he said.

The President warned the youth against radicalisation, saying there was no religion that preached killing.

The President also directed the Kenya Ports Authority to reduce training fees at Bandari College from Sh70,000 to Sh35,000.

Mr Kenyatta has been in Mombasa for six days.