On Sunday evening, President Uhuru Kenyatta wowed residents of Mombasa after making a surprise visit to Mama Ngina waterfront.
During his tour, the Head of State spoke and interacted with traders at the park who described the economic hardship following the covid-19 pandemic.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, the tourism sector has faced its fair share of setbacks due to the global health crisis, with industry players anticipating more than five million job losses.
Reviving businesses at the park
While visiting Mama Ngina waterfront, President Kenyatta assured all vendors that he would see to it that all businesses within the park are restored through government’s help, after the slow down.
The park, which was named after Kenya’s former first lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta after the refurbishment has in the recent months faced a backlash from human rights groups in Mombasa demanding a name change.
The Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, however, said that the attempts to have the place renamed was malicious.
Relaunching of the park happened during the 2019 Mahujaa Day celebrations, after a renovation that cost taxpayers up to Ksh 400 million.
In his argument, Balala said several consultative meetings were held at the park before its grand reopening yet nobody opposed the name.
According to the Tourism CS, some of the names being proposed by the rights groups such as Mzimule arent known to the public. On the other hand, the name Mama Ngina has been in existence for over 50 years.
President Kenyatta has been making surprise visits to various places in the country. Last week he visited Umoja in Nairobi before launching of customized desks ahead of school reopening.
During his visit to Umoja, he also encouraged artisans to save money and improve their livelihoods from the funds they would earn from the desk project.