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Kenya’s coast residents celebrate after a lull in terror threats

By Standard Team | January 2nd 2016

MOMBASA: Coastal residents erupted in celebration as fireworks lit the skies at the stroke of midnight ushering in the New Year.
Revelers thronged Mama Ngina Grounds, White Sands Hotel, churches and beaches to welcome 2016.

However, it was gloom in Kwale that was hit by power outage, after three people were killed. The victims died in two separate incidents at Mwaroni village in Diani during celebrations to usher in the New Year.

In the first incident, a woman and a man only identified as Francis were burnt beyond recognition in their separate rooms in a nine roomed house. “Around six o’clock I was called that the daughter to my cousin was stabbed to death in a bar,” he added.

Hoteliers told The Standard on Saturday the outage had affected business.
“We have been running on generator and the Kenya Power Company cannot even offer an explanation,” Mohamed Omar, General Manager of Leopards Beach Hotel said yesterday.
In Taita Taveta, police arrested a man for allegedly causing a security scare by setting off fireworks at the Voi Moi Stadium without authorisation when Governor John Mruttu was about to address residents.
Unlike last year, when New Year festivities were dampened by terror threats that led to a ban of firecrackers in most parts of the region this year hotels and private villas lit up the skies. At the Travellers Beach Hotel, the management spared nothing to chance to put up what was billed as one of the best fireworks displays ever.

“We had a rather hectic year for the tourism industry. But with the appointment of Najib Balala to the Tourism Ministry, we are seeing the industry improving since he is an authority in the sector,” Travellers Beach Hotel General Manager, Freddie Kiuru said.
Among revellers at the Travellers Beach Hotel included former minister Mwangi Githiomi and Starehe MP Maina Kamanda.

But it was at Porini Village, located at Kikambala which specialises in Seychelloise cuisine where revellers had a treat with Seychelles culinary delights, music, drinks and New Year breakfast to mark 40 years.

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and Embu Governor Martin Wambora were among the dignitaries at Whitesands hotel.

“We expect that the government will embrace inclusivity, stop corruption and implement the Constitution fully,” said Mr Omar.
Governor Wambora asked the government to intensify the war against terrorism.
 - Reports by Bernard Sanga, Philip Mwakio, Tobias Chanji and Renson Mnyamwezi

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