Monday, October 14, 2013

Local leader in land dispute with Kenya embassy

In what could be described as an abnormal incident, a misunderstanding emerged between one Peter Mushi, a local government leader in Oyster Bay in Dar es Salaam region causual workemen  at the Kenya High Commission in Tanzania. The misunderstanding surfaced mid-day yesterday when the Office of the Kenya High Commission hired some youth to erect iron fencing poles in front of its offices to prevent motorists from parking cars near the building which is located the intersection of Ally Hassan Mwinyi road and Kaunda street. A spot check at the area on Saturday last week found seven youths seated close to a heap of the already mixed-up concrete aggregates with cement for which they were contracted to accomplish the task assigned by their boss (High Commissioner of Kenya). In an exclusive interview, they testified that one leader who introduced to them as Chairman of the local government -- who was accompanied by a group of the local security guards taking responsibility of the security in the area -- and ordered them to stop working, whereupon he also asked who had commissioned them to do the work. They obeyed without resistance, but to their dismay, they were surprised when the security guards consfisticated and took away their working tools, which they proceeded to load them into a car before driving to an office nearby. The youths who seemed to know next to nothing about what was happening could not say anything, neither did their technician nor anybody else around, but they sought to contact authorities at the High Commission who could probably give them reasons behind the seizure of their working tools.

Kenya High Commission building in Dar Salaam, Tanzania.

Contacted for comment, the chairman of the local government of the area, Peter Mushi said that he ordered the seizure of the tools because he had found some people doing construction work in front of the Kenya High Commission without his knowledge. He confirmed that he had seized five bags of cement plus 71 pieces of the iron bars measuring four feet high and three inches wide, and ordered they be taken to his office pending further investigations. He insisted that his office wasn’t aware of the ongoing construction of the fence by using these iron bars, and ordered those concerned to produce  documents to prove they had permission from the government to do so. He said the area put under construction was so sensive given the fact that there are underground telephone cables and some other important pipes such as the gas pipe constructed along the same patch – which is why the government should have been informed about any constructions works taking place there. He also said the area is set for some other purposes, but couldn’t elaborate. However, the Masaki ward secretary noted that a signboard should have been put up to indicate that parking wasn’t allowed at this area instead of constructing a fence – in an area which he said was outside the perimeter of the high commission offices. Preliminary investigations indicate that the Kenya high commission had planned to put up the polls in a bid to prevent incoming cars from parking, particularly in view of recent Al-Shaabab terrorist attacks. Efforts to reach the Kenya high commissioner failed, and a police officer on duty wouldn’t talk about it. However, an official of the High Commission didn’t want to be named said that the acting High Commissioner whom he named as George Owuor had travelled two days before -- and would be made available this Tuesday.

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