Kenya: Petition to Rename Mama Ngina Waterfront Rolled Out

12 November 2019

Mombasa County Assembly on Tuesday morning handed over the petition for renaming Mama Ngina Waterfront Park to the department of Trade, Tourism and Investment to immediately start public participation.

The petition was presented Friday last week to the County Assembly clerk Salim Juma by Mombasa residents and civil society group. ???

They petitioned the house to rename the park arguing the name should reflect the historical and cultural heritage of the coastal town.

RENAMING

Some of the groups said the Mama Ngina name should be changed to Mekatilili wa Menza in reference to the first female from the coastal area who fought for Kenya's independence.

Mzimli or Mombasa Waterfront are the other names suggested.

The department of tourism is now required to begin public participation for the renaming of the park and present the report of the results in a span of six days.

"Petition on renaming of Mama Ngina Waterfront Park will now be handled by the tourism department. And to start public participation immediately," said Mombasa Speaker Ahrub Ebrahim.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

As they presented the motion, locals and civil society groups requested to be involved in the renaming process stating their constitutional right as public participation.

The recreational park was opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta during this year's Mashujaa Day.

A total of Sh460 million was used to refurbish the 26-acre park which now boasts an amphitheatre, landscaping, establishment of Kilindini Cultural Centre, building of ablution blocks and two main gates.

However, the park's opening has triggered a lot of debate at the tourist city, with regard to its naming and board of management.

Cabinet Secretary Tourism Najib Balala had already appointed a management board chaired by Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Brown Ondego to oversee the parks' activities, but Mombasa High Court Judge Patrick Otieno barred the newly formed Mama Ngina Waterfront board from taking over after locals and civil groups took the matter to court.

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