Just days after President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a multimillion-shilling project to give Mama Ngina Drive a facelift, the National Land Commission (NLC) has revealed that most of the land has been grabbed.
Embattled NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri claims that 13 people have grabbed 20 acres, leaving only six for the public.
On Monday, President Kenyatta commissioned the Sh460 million project to create a modern waterfront and directed the land commission to repossess the grabbed land.
"We are giving those people claiming to own the parcel of land time to return it. After three months, we would have repossessed all of it," said Mr Swazuri when he visited the site on Thursday with Mombasa Lands minister Edward Nyale and Land ministry officials.
During the launch which was also attended by Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga, Mr Kenyatta directed the NLC and Lands ministry to ensure they reclaim the land.
“I want NLC and Ministry of Land to ensure that when we return here to officially launch the project after construction, the public land should have been repossessed and reverted to public use,” he said.
The facelift is part of an ongoing project to bring back the glory of the coastal city by turning it into a leading and competitive world-class tourism destination.
A public square, two gateways, a Swahili cultural centre, pigeon coops, paved path, space for restaurants, modern market and an amphitheatre are some of the utilities set to be developed in the multimillion project.
Completion of the project, which is jointly implemented by the Tourism ministry and Mombasa County government, is scheduled for May.